Admitted dogfighter gets probation, $1,500 fine in federal court

Published 10:55 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Antoine Clayborne, 42, formerly of Pearl, Mississippi, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge David Bramlette III to 36 months’ probation for his participation in a pit bull dogfighting venture, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Dax Roberson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. Clayborne was also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine.

Clayborne pleaded guilty before Judge Bramlette on March 5, 2020, admitting that he trained pit bulls to fight to the death. Clayborne admitted that he entered one of his pit bulls in a dog fight outside the State of Mississippi, his pit bull won the fight, and as a result Clayborne won a substantial amount of money.

Law enforcement discovered Clayborne’s dog-fighting activities as a result of a tip from a citizen concerned about the condition of the pit bulls at Clayborne’s house.

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After investigating the tip, law enforcement officers obtained a search warrant for Clayborne’s residence and seized 11 adult pit bulls and eight pit bull puppies.

Law enforcement also seized a variety of equipment commonly used to train pit bulls to fight, including weighted vests, collars and harnesses, a slat mill used to force the dog to walk, two treadmills with boxes built onto them to hold the dog and force it to walk, heavy chains, hanging scales, flirt poles and break/bite sticks.

Clayborne’s cell phone contained gruesome videos of dogs fighting until one dog killed the other, text messages with photos of dogs Clayborne had used for dog fights, invitations to enter animals in fights, and financial receipts of wire transfers related to dogfighting ventures.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General and the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carla J. Clark.