Louisiana Man Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Dogs for Use in a Dogfighting Venture

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Published June 14, 2022

Louisiana Man Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Dogs for Use in a Dogfighting Venture

Louisiana – United States Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr. announced on June 14, 2022, that U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson sentenced Dangelo Dontae Cornish, 36, of Greensburg, Louisiana, to 14 months in federal prison after his conviction for possessing pit bulls for use in a dogfighting venture. Cornish was also sentenced to two years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Cornish admitted in his guilty plea that five pit bulls discovered at his home in Greensburg, Louisiana, were being held and trained for dogfighting. Cornish was discovered to be discussing dogfighting with members of the Baton Rouge-based Valley Street drug distribution ring when his phone calls with a member of the ring and others were intercepted during a wiretap. Cornish talked about dogfight betting, breeding dogs, and training dogs for dogfighting. Cornish’s residence was searched by federal law enforcement agents in October 2017. Agents discovered five pit bull-type dogs kept in a manner consistent with dogfighting at his home.

Heavy chains and either weighted dog collars or ankle weights were used to restrain the dogs. Agents also discovered rudimentary outdoor shelters, veterinary supplements manufactured and distributed interstate, and a treadmill designed to force dogs to exercise. Cornish admitted in his plea that he knowingly possessed each of these five dogs for the purpose of animal fighting ventures, and that he possessed the dogfighting paraphernalia for the purpose of training and preparing the dogs for participation in animal fighting ventures. Dogfights were discovered to be taking place in Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi, according to the investigation.

Cornish is the sixth person to be sentenced as a result of the drug ring case and the animal-fighting venture.

The FBI Baton Rouge Capitol Area Gang Task Force, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the United States Marshal Service are all looking into this operation. Matthew D. Evans, Trial Attorney, United States Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division, Washington, D.C., and Assistant United States Attorney Lyman E. Thornton III are prosecuting this case.