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Final suspect in Roanoke Rapids dog-fighting ring pleads guilty

Posted July 12

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— The third member of a Halifax County family charged with running a dog-fighting operation pleaded guilty to federal charges Tuesday.

Zhaqwaun Jevontae Gary, 22, pleaded guilty to possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture and aiding and abetting. He will be sentenced later and faces up to five years in prison.

Gary's mother, Erica Powell Gary, 44, pleaded guilty in April to the same charges, as well as a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. His father, Elton Gary, 47, pleaded guilty in April to exhibiting and sponsoring an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture, attending an animal fighting venture, possession of an animal for the purpose of participation in a fighting venture, possession of firearm and ammunition by a felon, possession with intent to distribute marijuana plants, maintaining drug-involved premises and aiding and abetting. Both are still awaiting sentencing and face up to 10 years in prison.

Halifax County deputies seized 21 dogs and 68 marijuana plants from 1045 Stack Powell Road in Roanoke Rapids in April 2013 after receiving information from confidential sources about potential dog fighting in the area. Authorities found a dog fighting pen, dog training weights, syringes and animal medications on the property.

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