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Deputies Break Up Two Dog Fighting Operations In Antelope Valley

fightingchainsAn alleged dog fighting training operation at a Lake Los Angeles home was shut down Wednesday by sheriff’s deputies, and a couple was arrested for training dogs to fight, as well as for possession of cocaine. Their four children were taken into protective custody and 17 pit bull dogs were recovered by animal control officers.

 

The dog fighting investigation began when a confidential informant called the LA County 24-hour Dog Fighting Tipline (877-662-3483) to report that people were training dogs for fighting. The tip was reported to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, who relayed the information to deputies in the Antelope Valley so it could be investigated.


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fightingmedicineOver the next month, Deputies Robert Ferrell and Fred Hill with the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Bureau, investigated the dog fighting case, working with officers from the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, and Lancaster Sheriff’s Station deputies. The deputies ultimately found sufficient probable cause to be able to obtain a search warrant.

At about 4:30AM Wednesday, sheriff’s deputies from COPS Bureau, Lancaster, and Palmdale Stations, joined by L.A. Co. Animal Control officers and LA Co. Dept. of Children and Family Services, went to the home on the 41000 block of 178th St. East, Lake Los Angeles.

Once there, they found an elaborate dog fighting and training operation.

On the property they found seventeen pit bull dogs, some of which were tied to stakes in the yard. Dried blood was found on a portable wooden fighting ring that was leaning against a wall.

They also found a large amount of medical supplies, including surgical tools and medication, IV saline solution, and syringes to administer medicine and to treat the dogs. Surgical tools and supplies, used to stitch up the dogs after being wounded in fights, were recovered.

fightingtreadmillsThree treadmill type machines, used for the compelled physical conditioning of the dogs, were located. One of them was made of wooden slats.

Training records for the dogs, and study guides on the breeding of dogs and dog fighting were recovered.
All of the dogs were removed from the location by Animal Control officers. Many of the dogs found at the property had injuries.
Approximately one ounce of cocaine was also recovered.

Suspect Jesse Jimenez, 43, and his wife Suspect Yvette Jimenez, 41, were arrested at the residence for felony dog fighting (which includes training dogs to fight) and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine). They were transported and booked at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Later, during the interview process, both suspects admitted to their roles in the activity.

The dog fighting has apparently been going on in various areas in the Antelope Valley for several years.

Due to the circumstances, the couple’s four children, aged 1, 10, 12, and 14 were taken into protective custody by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

Dog fighting, cock-fighting, and other forms of animal fighting are not a sport, they are a felony. So is animal cruelty.

A conviction for felony animal cruelty can result in a sentence of up to 3 years in prison.

The LA County 24-hour Dog Fighting Tipline (877-NO2FITE or 877-662-3483, is funded in part by the Humane Society of the U.S. Up to $5,000.00 is offered for information that leads to an arrest or conviction of people engaging in the training or fighting of dogs. The identity of callers will remain confidential.

The Animal Cruelty Education and Training Committee of the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County (POALAC) was recently formed and has been providing training for peace officers about the unique elements of investigating animal cruelty cases, including dog fighting. The deputies who made this arrest attended this training.

 

COPS Deputies Robert Ferrell and Fred Hill who investigated the above case, are the same deputies who made a similar dog fighting arrest just a few months ago. That arrest resulted in a felony conviction and a five year prison sentence for a Lancaster man a few weeks ago.

 

On Feb. 9, 2011, Amin Uqdah pled guilty to an Oct. 10, 2010 arrest for dog fighting and a later arrest for spousal assault.

Deputies Ferrell and Hill received a phone tip that Uqdah was involved in dog fighting on his property in Lancaster.

They conducted a surveillance and saw activity that led them to believe that dog fighting and training for fighting was occurring at the residence. Having formed sufficient probable cause, the deputies sought and obtained a search warrant.

When the deputies served the search warrant on Oct. 10, 2010, they found two dogs. One of the dogs had fresh fighting wounds, including a through and through puncture wound to its cheek, as well as what appeared to be old fighting scars.

Inside the garage they found a plywood fighting pen, with what appeared to be old blood stains and a dirty piece of carpet. Inside the house, they found three videos that depicted the defendant's dog fighting in his garage, inside the fighting pen they had found. The same piece of carpet was inside the pen. In one of the videos, the defendant's voice could be heard cheering on his dog, "Cash." The gruesome videos showed at least three separate fights where the defendant's dog fought three other dogs. In one of the fights, it appears that the defendant's dog actually kills the other dog.

Some methamphetamine was also found in the home.

About a month later while out on bail from the October 10 arrest, sheriff’s deputies arrested Uqdah for spousal assault and for assaulting his children. In that incident, he was physically assaulting his wife including punching her in the face. When his 14-year old daughter tried to stop him, he picked her up and slammed her to the ground.

The totality of these offenses including the assault on his family and the dog fighting, resulted in Uqdah pleading guilty on Feb. 9, 2011. He was sentenced to five years state prison.

Dog fighting, cock-fighting, and other forms of animal fighting are not a sport, they are a felony. So is animal cruelty.

A conviction for felony animal cruelty can result in a sentence of up to 3 years in prison.