HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – There's been a major development in the so called Waimanalo Puppy Mill scandal today. The man accused of taking care of the breeding facility, David Lee Becker, will be extradited from Las Vegas, Nevada back to Hawaii to face more than a hundred charges of animal cruelty.
Detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's Criminal Apprehension Team/Fugitive Detail arrested the 55 year old Becker on Friday, June 1, on what's called a "Governor's Warrant." Vegas authorities say he was arrested on the 5800 block of Vintage Garden, where he was taken into custody without incident.
The special high level extradition warrant, which is agreed to between governors, was sought by the Honolulu City Prosecutor's Office in order to extradite Becker back to Hawaii to face 153 misdemeanor counts of 2nd degree animal cruelty.
"I was told that when they found him in Las Vegas, he said, 'How the hell did you find me?' said, Pamela Burns the president and C.E.O of the Hawaiian Humane Society. "And you know, people are really passionate about animals and they will find you. Yeah, we're very pleased."
Burns said Becker was personally responsible for the horrific conditions that the dogs were found in at the farm operated by the now defunct Bradley International Incorporated. The corporation pled no contest to similar cruelty charges last year but dissolved after it was unable to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
"I think it certainly sends a strong message to people that they shouldn't do it," stated Burns. "It was a very high profile case and I think that people were very frustrated by the outcome and hopefully with this extradition, justice will be served."
Becker left Hawaii before he could be charged and served with a penal summons in the case. But the Hawaiian Humane Society got a tip of Becker's Vegas whereabouts and gave it to prosecutors for action.
"We got approval by the Governor and we put it out to other jurisdictions to look for him," said Honolulu City Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro. "One of my priorities is animal cruelty and this is a significant animal cruelty case."
"To have a governor request from another governor the extradition of somebody on misdemeanor charges certainly goes to how strongly passionate people are, including the prosecutor's office and the Governor and the community at large," said Burns. "As far as we know, it had never been done before."
Becker is currently being held in the Clark County Detention Center without bail. According to extradition authorities in Las Vegas, Becker's extradition hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 11 at 8:00 a.m. in the 8th Judicial Court for Clark County, Nevada. Afterwards they said, he'll return to the detention center for holding until Hawaii authorities arrive and take them into their custody for return to Hawaii.