Gittens, Benito

Gittens, Benito
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October 2019 – Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., and New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea today announced the indictment of four men for operating a dog fighting ring and abusing dozens of dogs between September 2018 and October 2019. The defendants’ conduct was uncovered during a long-term, ongoing investigation of an identity theft operation, and in October 2019, search warrants executed at the defendants’ homes led to the seizure of 29 dogs, as well as multiple dog treadmills, “breaking sticks” designed to pry open a dog’s jaws, weighted vests and collars, and more. The ASPCA assisted in the seizure and ongoing treatment of the abused dogs.Defendants JOSE RIVERA, a/k/a “Gator,” 55; EVANS FUENTES, a/k/a “Hustle,” a/k/a “Flacco,” 39; BENITO GITTENS, 46; and EDWARD JOHNSON, a/k/a “Big Myke,” a/k/a “Myke,” 37; are charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with Conspiracy in the Fifth Degree, as well as various counts of Prohibition of Animal Fighting, and Failure to Provide Proper Food and Drink to Impounded Animals. RIVERA is additionally charged with Operating as a Major Trafficker and other drug charges for possessing four kilograms of heroin and three kilograms of fentanyl, as well as weapons charges for possessing two loaded firearms, all of which were seized at his Washington Heights apartment.Investigators found one dog dead in a freezer and rescued 29 pit bulls and other dogs in cages and a closet of an the upper Manhattan building superintendent (Rivera), a veterinary worker from Long Island and two other men. Two of the four pit bulls were found in a closet with the door closed, according to prosecutors. Three of the men accused of abusing pit bulls, training them for blood sport and entering them in illegal dog fights were freed without bail in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday with orders that they stay away from all dogs and show up at future court hearings

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City
New York
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New York
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New York