AV couple pleads no contest in dog fighting operation

LANCASTER – A couple accused of running a sophisticated dog fighting operation from their Lake Los Angeles home pleaded no contest, the Los Angeles District Attorney Office announced Wednesday.

Jesse Eduardo Jiminez, 44, pleaded to 13 counts of dog fighting; nine counts of willful animal cruelty; six count of animal neglect; two counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license; and one count of possession of a controlled substance, cocaine, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Jiminez’ wife, Yvette Jiminez, who has been in county jail since March 2, pleaded to one count of willful animal cruelty and two counts of felony dog fighting, prosecutors said.

The couple was arrested earlier this year after an anonymous caller to the county Dog Fighting Tip Line reported dog fighting at the Jiminez residence.

Deputies executed a search warrant at the home and discovered 10 adult pit bulls chained in the backyard all bearing scars or fresh injuries. Three pit bull puppies also were found chained or fenced in the backyard. One adult female pit bull – believed to have borne several litters – was discovered inside the home.

The female dog’s teeth had been manually filed down to the pulp for the purpose of breeding her without injury to her partner.

Investigators also found handwritten records dating back to the mid 1990s featuring training regimens and blow-by-blow narratives of select dog fights. Also found on the premise were three treadmills and a portable dog fighting pit that was stained with what appeared to be blood. Additionally, investigators found literature on how to train fighting dogs, how to treat animal injuries and boxes of medical supplies.

Jesse Eduardo Jiminez is out of custody on a $560,000 bond and is scheduled to surrender on Jan. 27 to begin serving a county jail sentence of 365 days of actual time, meaning he must serve the entire duration of the term. If Jiminez fails to surrender, he faces 23 years in state prison.

Under the terms of a negotiated plea agreement, Jiminez must serve one year of county jail time – prior to a formal sentencing hearing – in order for 28 counts to be dismissed. Ultimately, Jiminez is expected to be convicted of one count of willful animal cruelty and two counts of dog fighting, all felonies.

Antelope Valley Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky said Jiminez will be formally sentenced in 2013. His expected sentence includes three years of formal probation, completion of an animal cruelty counseling program and restitution. Upon sentencing, Jiminez may not have any dogs or live with anyone who has dogs. He also will be subject to search and seizure terms by all law enforcement including the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control.

Yvette Jiminez was immediately sentenced to the same probationary terms as her husband and was ordered released as she already has served 274 days of actual time and was given credit for 410 days due to “good-time, work-time” credit.

(Information via press release from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.)

  5 comments for “AV couple pleads no contest in dog fighting operation

  1. Elaine
    December 1, 2011 at 9:08 am

    You can blame people such as this for the reason pit bulls have such a horrible reputation. When an animal is bred and raised for the purpose of inflicting damage it is not the fault of the animal it is the fault of the “human”.
    I hope they someday suffer the same pain, agoning and torture that they inflicted on these and probably countless other dogs.

    • Ted
      December 1, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      I agree!! This is disgusting and despicable!! As an owner of several Pit bulls throughout my life, I can say for certain that you will not find a more loyal breed. Animals like the Jimenez turn these gentle dogs into monsters and instead of recognizing this, people are quick to blame the dog. Please educate yourselves about the Pit bull and turn that fear into compassion. Go to http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/. Sorry for posting the link, I couldn’t help it, especially because people in this Valley have renewed their fears regarding Pit bulls thanks to those idiot owners who allowed their dogs to destroy the goats in Lake LA.

      • Elaine
        December 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm

        We adopted a pit bull found roaming our neighborhood several years ago. She had scars all over her and was initially very fearful, most likely from being used as a bait dog. She turned out to be a wonderful, loving “lap dog”. The only danger she posed was by licking you to death. She was amazing with other dogs, cats and even the smallest of children. RIP Bailey. It’s not the breed it’s the owner!
        I would not refer to the owners in this article as animals because animals do not behave this horrifically. This is a trait owned only by humans.

        • Jo
          December 1, 2011 at 6:43 pm

          Pitts are awesome dogs. Never been to fond of little dogs personally, but I bet even little rat dogs are awesome dogs. Like people, you get what you put into them. Some dogs are awesome despite their idiot owners.

        • Stinger
          December 2, 2011 at 4:39 pm

          I would definitely agree with you that it is the owner, not the breed, that determines the danger level of the dog.

          I have a friend who relates a tru story about pit bulls and their gentle nature when raised well: She was surprised by the knocking of a neighbor upon her door late one night who asked for her experienced help with a baby kitten (and by baby, we’re talking about a week old here – still nursing!) that had been rescued by the neighbor’s pit bull. Seems that the pit bull had found this little kitten, motherless, and had ever so gently carried the kitten in his mouth to his master and was adamant that the neighbor (the dog’s master) do something to help the little kitten.

          BTW: the kitten is now a fully grown (and large) happy cat, thanks to that pit bull saving her life.

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