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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 8:56 am | Fair 48º

 
 
 
 
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Man Convicted of Puppy Abuse Handed to Immigration Officials After Santa Barbara Jail Term

A man convicted of abusing his girlfriend and torturing her puppy so badly it had to be euthanized was released from Santa Barbara County Jail to federal immigration agents on Friday morning and could be deported to China.

Duanying Chen, a Chinese citizen, was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading guilty to felony animal cruelty and assault charges, which involved abusing his girlfriend and her dog.

The charges against Chen resulted when Santa Barbara police responded to a local veterinary clinic on May 14, 2014, where personnel treated the 5-month-old male Doberman pinscher puppy for broken bones, infections and burns over 80 percent of his body.

Police determined that Chen had tortured the puppy, which had to be euthanized because of its injuries.

Chen had assaulted his girlfriend weeks earlier, strangling her until she nearly lost consciousness after a heated argument, police said. 

Chen was released from jail after serving his sentence at about 10:30 a.m.Friday morning, directly into the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s County.

“After coordinating closely with ICE on the timing of the custody transfer, the Sheriff’s Office released Mr. Chen this morning directly to ICE officers,” Hoover said.

Chen was then transported to an ICE facility for further processing, she said.

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill handed down Chen’s sentence in June, to the dismay of animal advocates who maintained that the sentence was too light considering the extent of the abuse. 

Last month, an immigration detainer lodged against Chen remained in place, ICE Spokeswoman Lori Haley said.

“A detainer requests that local law enforcement notifies us before (the suspect is) released to the streets, so that we can take custody for possible administrative (immigration enforcement),” she said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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