BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A Baton Rouge man was sentenced to one year and a day for owning multiple animals for fighting purposes.

According to court documents, Aquintas Kentrell Singleton, 35, of Baton Rouge pleaded guilty before Judge Shelly Dick of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana to a crime that involves him having 17 dogs for animal fighting. On Thursday, Nov. 17, Singleton returned to the courtroom for sentencing.

Law enforcement agents became aware of Singleton’s involvement in a dogfighting ring in 2017. At the start of summer 2017, Singleton had multiple conversations with other dogfighters to discuss fights held in Louisiana and Georgia, future fights, breeding, training, and more were also discussed. Based on these calls, authorities began to perform a thorough investigation.

According to the Department of Justice, on Oct. 24, 2017, agents searched Singleton’s home in Baton Rouge, where 17 pitbull-bred dogs were found. They were separated with heavy chains and weighted collars. Many of the dogs sustained scars or fresh wounds, indicating the dog fighting ring. Agents were also able to find a box with information on breeding information, as well as Dexamethasone, a diuretic used for weight loss, and other dogfighting paraphernalia.

 “Blood sports, like dogfighting, are federal crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “To set animals against each other for entertainment is cruel and unjust. Anyone who commits these acts should expect to be caught and to serve time in prison.”

“The Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General-Investigations, actively investigates allegations of animal abuse,” said Special Agent in Charge Dax Roberson. “This agency has made animal fighting a high priority in order to demonstrate that these blatant acts of cruelty to animals will no longer be tolerated. We would like to thank the Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for aggressively prosecuting perpetrators of animal fighting and our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for assisting in enforcing these federal statutes.”