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Prosecutors reportedly have witnesses that link Vick to dogfights

5/31/2007 - NFL Michael Vick Atlanta Falcons + more

SURRY, Va. -- Informants have come forward saying they can
link Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to dog fighting, the
prosecutor in the case said Thursday, and he has turned their
accounts and contact information over to investigators.

Surry County Commonwealth's Attorney Gerald G. Poindexter said
he has heard from about a half-dozen people claiming to have
information about Vick's involvement in dog fighting, but he does
not know if their claims have proven to be reliable.

In a letter, an inmate in a South Carolina prison claimed that
he attended dog fights where Vick also was in attendance and saw
Vick bet large amounts of money. Another informant provided street
names of dog fighters from elsewhere in Virginia.

A deputy sheriff in the county, W.R. Brinkman, is on the road
investigating the claims, Poindexter said, noting that the
investigation is the job of the sheriff.

Poindexter said a search warrant issued May 23 for the massive
home Vick owns in the county still has not been executed because he
wants to make certain that any search does not jeopardize the
investigation. Several years ago, another dog fighting case in the
county was thrown out of court because of an illegal search, he
said.

The search warrant was issued after an informant told Brinkman
there were as many as 30 dogs carcasses buried on the property, and
Poindexter said he is confident that evidence already seized from
the home would be enough to hand down indictments.

He said any attempt to remove the carcasses would also be
incriminating.

When charges will be sought and who will face them remains to be
seen, he said, noting that unless a special grand jury is called,
the county grand jury is scheduled to meet next on July 24. The
county has never had a special grand jury called.

The case began April 25 when police conducting a drug
investigation raided the house Vick owns and found 66 dogs, 55 of
them pit bulls. They also found items associated with dog fighting,
including a "pry bar" used to pry apart a dog's jaws.

Dog fighting is a felony in Virginia.

Vick, a registered dog breeder, has blamed relatives for taking
advantage of his generosity and insisted he's rarely at the house.
He has since put the home on the market and sold it in a day,
although the sale has not yet been completed.

A store-bought "For Sale by Owner" sign once put up in the
front yard of the two-story, painted brick home is no longer in the
yard.