A property owned by Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was used as the "main staging area for housing and training the pit bulls involved" in an illegal dog-fighting operation, court documents showed.
The papers, filed by federal authorities on Monday in US District Court in Richmond, Virginia, and obtained on Friday by The Associated Press, contain the address of the Vick property that has been the center of the investigation. The three-time NFL Pro Bowl quarterback is not identified in the documents, which were filed in attempt to condemn the property and force its forfeiture.
On Friday, federal agents again searched the property. They finished their work at about 4:30pm and declined to answer reporters' questions as they left.
Staging or facilitating dog fighting is a felony in 48 of 50 states in the US, including Virginia.
The documents showed that dog fights have been sponsored by Bad Newz Kennels at the property since at least 2002. For the events, participants and dogs traveled from South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Texas and other states.
Fifty-four animals were recovered from the property during searches in April, along with a "rape stand," used to hold dogs in place for matin,; an electric treadmill modified for dogs and a bloodied piece of carpeting, the documents said.
Fights would end when one dog died or with the surrender of the losing dog, which was sometimes put to death by drowning, strangulation, hanging, gun shot or electrocution, the documents showed.
Vick has said he rarely visited the property.
No criminal charges have been filed.
Officials raided the property on April 25, and -- after an informant suggested authorities could find as many as 30 dogs buried on the property -- Surry County officials secured a search warrant but never acted on it because Prosecutor Gerald Poindexter said he had concerns with the document.
On June 7, the day that warrant expired, federal officials executed their own with the help of state police investigators.
Vick has said he had no idea the property may have been used in a criminal enterprise and blamed family members.