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Manager of alleged puppy mill pleads not guilty to animal cruelty

By Gregg K. Kakesako & Ferd Lewis

LAST UPDATED: 1:34 a.m. HST, Aug 10, 2012

The 37-year-old  manager of an alleged Waimanalo puppy mill pleaded not guilty Thursday to 153 misdemeanor animal cruetly charges and asked for a jury trial.

David Lee Becker has been held on $200,000  bail since he was extradited to Honolulu from Las Vegas on June 18. 

Becker hadn’t entered a plea until Thursday morning. His attorneys from the Office of the Public Defender had asked for more time to review the evidence and prepare for Becker’s defense.

Kaneohe District Court Judge Phil Doi sent the case to Circuit Judge Richard Perkins for a Aug. 23 hearing.

Becker did not speak during the brief hearing.

Becker could be fined as much as $306,000 and spend as much as a year in jail, if convicted.

Becker was charged May 26, but left for Nevada.

He was detained June 8 in Las Vegas after the Hawaiian Humane Society found Becker and gave the information to the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office, which obtained a special gubernatorial warrant for his arrest

The Hawaiian Humane Society and the Honolulu police seized 153 dogs on Feb. 28, 2010 in Waimanalo from Bradley International, Becker's employer.

Bradley International plead no contest in December 2011 to the 153 counts of animal cruetly. However, none of the $370,701 in restitution and $8,415 in court fees were ever paid, because the company has gone out of business.

According to state business records, the chief executive and director of the company is Shannon Luke, the president and secretary is Becker, and the treasurer is Vernon Luke.

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