Nelson County, Virginia
UPDATE 12:45 PM 11.22.11
Scroll to bottom for official ABC press release outlining the operation.
UPDATE 8:20AM 11.22.11
The Nelson County Sheriff’s Department says Joyce Davis has made bond. Tracy Davis will not appear in court until November 30th at the earliest. He remains in jail during that time.
According to Sheriff Brooks. Tracy Davis is being held without bond. His wife, Joyce, was granted $5000 secured bond.
Original Post From 11.21.11
Around 8AM Monday morning NCL began getting calls about a large gathering of state and federal agents on the parking lot of the old Three Ridges Deli and Devils Backbone. Witnesses reported around 50 personnel including a large number of people with area humane society organizations, some from as far away as Roanoke and others with license plates from Maryland.
NCL has been working the story all day in conjunction with our Charlottesville News Partners at The Newsplex. (Their coverage here) Through information gathered NCL has been able to verify that agents served a search warrant at the home of Tracy Davis on Rooster Ridge in Beech Grove just off of Route 664. “We had two officers on the scene since the warrant was being served in Nelson, but our agency did not directly participate in the actual search or removal of animals,” said Nelson County Sheriff David Brooks. Brooks said that Tracy Davis and his wife Joyce are being booked at the Nelson County Sheriff’s Department late Monday afternoon. “They have both been charged with 28 counts of animal cruelty,” Sheriff Brooks continued.
According to CBS-19 the investigation may be looking into the cultivation and sale of illegal bear organs.
NCL has learned agents from the state Alcohol Beverage Commission, Federal Park Rangers, and Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms were on the scene as part of the warrant.
Sheriff Brooks confirmed the state ABC was the agency in charge with assistance from other law enforcement and support groups.
Here’s the official press release from the VA State ABC in Richmond received around 12:45 PM on Tuesday 11.22.11 via CBS-19:
ABC Agents Arrest a Nelson County Couple on Multiple Charges
RICHMOND – Special agents with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) assisted by ten other local, state and federal agencies, ended a joint investigation November 21, as they executed a search warrant at an isolated residence, located on Rooster Ridge Road in Roseland. The investigation began as an inquiry into the operation of an illegal moonshine still when evidence of animal abuse was also discovered.
The owner of the home, Tracy Davis, age 71, was arrested on 15 counts of felony possession of a dangerous weapon while illegally manufacturing, selling or transporting unlawful alcohol, 1 count of misdemeanor for the illegal transport of untaxed alcohol and 28 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Davis’ wife Joyce Davis, age 61, was also arrested on 28 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. The couple was arrested and booked at Nelson County sheriff’s Office and taken to the Albermarle County Regional jail where Mr. Davis is being held without bond and Mrs. Davis’ bond was set at $5000.
Agents seized an illegal distillery (moonshine still), several firearms and a large number of malnourished hunting dogs, fighting chickens and two horses.
ABC agents were on the scene until early Tuesday and were assisted by US Department of Agriculture, Virginia State Police, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force, Virginia Office of Attorney General, US Attorney’s Office, Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Office of Animal Care and Health Policy, and the Humane Society of the United States.
This investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be forthcoming.