October 17, 2008

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Guilty pleas in narcotics, dog fighting ring

WHITE PLAINS – Two people Thursday pled guilty to charges related to narcotics and dog fighting.
Peter Byrne, 25, of Yonkers, pled guilty to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and two counts of prohibition of animal fighting, both felonies.

Tasha Lewis, 27, of Yonkers, pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

A third person, Anthony Gonzalez, 27, of Yonkers, remains charged with three counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, all felonies.

On March 4, Yonkers Police conducted surveillance at 34 Alida Street and observed Gonzalez engaged in a drug transaction with crack cocaine. The buyer fled and threw the drug to the ground.
Armed with a search warrant, police raided Byrne’s residence and found more crack cocaine in a dog house in the backyard. They also found $16,000 in cash.

Police also uncovered a dog fighting ring – a three foot high Plexiglas enclosure, a variety of veterinary pharmaceuticals and muscle-enhancement substances, hypodermic instruments and IV tubing, two dog treadmills and other tools used to train dogs to fight.

Police obtained a second search warrant for a garage and found 15 pit bull dogs, each with bites and puncture wounds consistent with dog fights. The dogs were living in squalor and emaciated
Five of the dogs required extended veterinary care.

When sentenced, Byrne faces up to nine years in prison and Lewis faces one year in the county jail.
Gonzalez faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.

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