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ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (AP) – Two men face federal drug charges in a case that investigators say led them to rescue 80 dogs used in a possible fighting operation covering part of northeastern North Carolina.

Pasquotank Sheriff Randy Cartwright says investigators found evidence of dogfighting in Pasquotank, Perquimans and Camden counties after carrying out search warrants related to last week’s arrests of the two men.

Cartwright says one dog was dead and several so badly injured that they may have to be euthanized.

Local authorities opened an emergency shelter for the dogs. The Humane Society of the United States assisted in the investigation, and the local SPCA is helping with care of the dogs.

Charged with drug violations are 35-year-old Desmond White and 37-year-old Maurice Baum. It wasn’t clear Thursday night if they have attorneys.

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