PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia man will spend years behind bars and pay over $20,000 after law enforcement busted a cockfighting operation at his Page County home. A cockfighting yard, hens, roosters, gaffs, and traces of methamphetamine were found at his home.
According to a statement from Attorney General Mark Herring’s office, 42-year-old Dale Comer Jr. will spend five years in jail and pay $29,714.51 in fees after he was convicted of 26 counts of felony animal fighting, 20 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and one count of felony drug possession. His sentence could have been longer, but 86 years were suspended.
Two of Comer’s many charges were made because he taught his two kids how to fight animals, traveled to take them to other cockfights, and gave them birds of their own for fighting, officials say.
According to Herring’s office, there has never been a larger sentencing for cockfighting in the United States.
The Page County Sheriff’s Office reportedly visited Comer’s home three times, each time finding chickens on the property; a yard for cockfighting; and items used during fighting, such as blades for the chickens’ legs.
The statement released on Tuesday, Dec. 14 says that there were 355 birds removed from the property. Many of the birds had been altered in some way.
Comer has been banned from owning animals of any kind for the rest of his life, according to officials.