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Crime

L.A. County Sheriff Busts Pitbull Fighting Ring, Confiscates 17 Dogs, 4 Kids, 1 Ounce of Cocaine

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Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 5:48 AM
click to enlarge Antelope Valley's finest
  • Antelope Valley's finest

There have been some major shenanigans going off in Lake Los Angeles -- that soulless (and ironically lake-less) unincorporated no-man's-land in the Antelope Valley, backdrop to many a meth lab and our worst "Hills Have Eyes" nightmares.

Now, the bumpkin community can add bloody pitbull fighting rings to its resume of trashy vices:

After investigating a call from a neighbor for the last month (thanks to the official dog-fighting tip line!), L.A. County sheriff's deputies busted into a house on the 41000 block of 178th Street in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Brace yourself, because here's what they found in the house of Jesse and Yvette Jimenez, a couple in their early 40s:

  • 17 pitbulls, many with injuries and tied to stakes in the yard
  • A portable, collapsible wooden dog-fighting ring covered in dried blood
  • Training records, breeding manuals and treadmills for the dogs
  • Surgical tools and medical equipment for treating their injuries at home
  • Four children, ages 1, 10, 12 and 14
  • One ounce of cocaine

click to enlarge It takes work to look this stout and menacing - KCAL9
  • KCAL9
  • It takes work to look this stout and menacing

The 4:30 a.m. bust was quite an operation. Jesse and Yvette were arrested for felony dog fighting and drug possession, their kids were taken into protective custody and the pitbulls sent to the Lancaster Animal Shelter for safekeeping.

From the sheriff's report:

Once there, [county officials] found an elaborate dog fighting and training operation. ...

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.

A similar LAPD bust in December 2008 also found 17 fighter pitbulls cooped up in a Los Angeles backyard -- underweight, wounded and infested with fleas. In addition to treadmills, their owners used 30-pound chains on stakes to exercise the dogs. Walter Citizen and Arnett Counts, the two men responsible, are serving five years each for animal cruelty.

Here's a brief report from KCAL9 that aired last night. Nothing too graphic, but it does include footage of some seriously sketch pointy-stick objects recovered from the Lake Los Angeles home:

As if we needed another reason to never set foot north of Santa Clarita.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]

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