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3 busted for running dog fighting ring in Manhattan, Bronx: DA

Three men were busted Friday for operating a dogfighting ring in Manhattan and the Bronx.
Evans “Hustle” Fuentes, Edward “Big Myke” Johnson and Benito Gittens abused dozens of dogs between September 2018 and October 2019, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Authorities said the illicit ring was uncovered during a long-term investigation into an identity-theft operation.
In October, officials executed search warrants on the defendants’ homes, which led to the seizure of 29 dogs, multiple dog treadmills, “breaking sticks” designed to pry open a dog’s jaws and weighted vests and collars, the DA’s office said in a statement.

The defendants pleaded not guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to conspiracy, the prohibition of animal fighting and other animal-abuse charges.
Jose “Gator” Rivera, who hasn’t been arraigned yet on the animal-abuse case, was arrested in October on charges of operating as a major trafficker and weapons possession. Authorities seized 4 kilos of heroin, 3 kilos of fentanyl and two loaded guns from his Washington Heights apartment. He’s being held on $400,000 bond.
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