Antelope Valley couple pleads guilty in dogfighting operation

Posted by Ronald D. HeddingDec 01, 2011

An Antelope Valley couple has pleaded guilty to operating an elaborate dogfighting ring out of their home.

Jesse Eduardo Jiminez, 44, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of dogfighting, nine counts of willful animal cruelty, six counts of animal neglect, two counts of practicing veterinary medicine without a license, and one count of possessing cocaine. All except two of those counts are felonies.

Jiminez is due to surrender on Jan. 27 to begin serving the entirety of a 356-day county jail sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky. He faces 23 years in state prison if he doesn't show up.

The sentence includes three years of formal probation, completion of an animal cruelty counseling program, and restitution. Jiminez also is prohibited from owning any dogs or living 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.

Under the plea agreement's terms, 28 counts will be dismissed once Jiminez serves his time, ultimately resulting in a conviction on three felonies, including one count of willful animal cruelty and two counts of dogfighting.

His wife, Yvette Jiminez, pleaded guilty to one count of willful animal cruelty and two counts of felony dogfighting. She received the same probation restrictions as her husband and was ordered released after serving nine months behind bars.

Deputies received an anonymous tip on the county's dogfighting tip line, and armed with a search warrant, deputies discovered ten adult Pitbulls chained in the backyard with scars and “fresh injuries.”

Three pit bull puppies also were found chained or fenced in the backyard. Detectives' key evidence was detailed handwritten descriptions of dog fights dating back to the mid-1990s. The writings included “training regimens and blow-by-blow narratives of select dog fights,” prosecutors said.