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Records: Virginia woman convicted of dogfighting ran drug ring from home

Michelle Renee Best (Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office)

Authorities in Virginia say a woman convicted of dogfighting has pleaded guilty to trafficking drugs from her beachfront home.

The Virginian-Pilot reports 43-year-old Michelle Renee Best pleaded guilty Tuesday to leading the Virginia Beach drug ring responsible for at least one fatal overdose. Court records say Best dealt cocaine, heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl from 2016 until her March arrest.

Records say police raided her home that month and found drugs, a ledger detailing past purchases and about $42,000 in cash.

Best was charged in 2005 but never convicted in the death of her husband, 27-year-old Alexander M. Smith. He disappeared in 2000, the same year she was convicted of animal cruelty.

Best is set to be sentenced in March. Her lawyer declined the newspaper's request for comment.

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