RICHMOND -- ABC agents busted a moonshine and cockfighting ring in Virginia and Kentucky following an early-morning raid on seven locations Saturday.
The dual-state raid resulted in 54 charges, including 30 felony charges, 19 state misdemeanor charges and five federal charges.
A two-year investigation began as an inquiry into an illegal moonshine operation, including the manufacture and distribution of untaxed liquor, but led to evidence of illegal cockfighting and animal cruelty, as well as illegal drugs, gambling and weapons, officials said.
'Although the emphasis of this case was illegal liquor, once the illegal cockfighting was discovered we immediately requested the aid of the experts at the USDA and the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force to handle those aspects of the case. This has been a joint investigation since those relationships were established,' said ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement Director Shawn Walker.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was called in to assist with the rescue of hundreds of fighting birds from two Virginia properties.
'The ASPCA worked diligently at the scene and handled the care and safety of the animals with remarkable expertise,' said ABC Special Agent in Charge Kyle Blanks, who oversaw the operation.
Additional arrests and charges are expected pending further investigation.
Arrests in Pound, Va., include:
Wesley Dean Robinson, 57, and Jonathan Robinson, 33, were charged with knowingly sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal fighting venture
Phillip Albert Meade, 54, was charged with nine counts of unlawful manufacture, transport or selling of an alcoholic beverage while being armed; one count of possessing marijuana not obtained from a valid prescription; and four counts of possessing, shipping or transporting untaxed alcohol
Tammy Carol Meade, 47, was charged with two counts of possessing, shipping or transporting untaxed alcohol; and two counts of unlawful manufacture, transport or sale of an alcoholic beverage while being armed
Jeffery A. Meade, 40, was charged with selling alcoholic beverages without a license; eight counts of possessing, shipping or transporting untaxed alcohol; and five counts of the unlawful manufacture, transport or sale of alcoholic beverages while being armed
Arrests in McDowell, Ky., include:
Joshua Stumbo, 25; Sonya Stumbo, 51; and Walter Dale Stumbo, 51, were charged with knowingly sponsoring or exhibiting an animal in an animal-fighting venture
The defendants from Virginia and Kentucky who were charged with felony federal charges were incarcerated after their arrests. The Robinsons appeared in federal district court in Abingdon, Va., and were released on bond. The Stumbos appeared in federal district court in Pikeville, Ky., on May 5, were released on bond and directed to appear in federal district court in Abingdon on Tuesday, May 6. The Meades from Virginia were arrested and processed by the Wise County Sheriff's Office magistrate. All posted bond and were released. These are only charges and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.