Exotic Pet Breeder Who Had 20K Dead, Dying Reptiles Ordered To Pay Restitution

CBS Los Angeles

RIVERSIDE (AP) — A Southern California exotic pet breeder who had 20,000 dead and dying rats and reptiles in a warehouse has avoided jail time but was ordered to pay more than $190,000 in restitution.

Mitchell Steven Behm, 55, of Coto de Caza, also was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service at a hearing Wednesday.

He owned Global Captive Breeders in Lake Elsinore, 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles, which sold exotic snakes and reptiles, along with rats for reptile food.

Behm and business manager David Delgado were arrested and initially charged with more than 100 counts each of felony animal cruelty. Behm negotiated a deal, pleading to a dozen misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Under its terms, Behm won’t be able to own any animals or operate any animal-related businesses.

Delgado, 30, of Rialto, has pleaded guilty to a dozen felony counts and…

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