Decatur man sentenced in huge federal dog-fighting case

A Decatur man has been sentenced to more than a year in prison for his part in a huge multi-state dog-fighting operation.

Edward Duckworth, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in July in federal court in Montgomery, Ala. He was sentenced Wednesday to 14 months in prison and two years of supervised release.

Duckworth admitted to helping transport a dog from Georgia to Alabama for a dog fight in 2012.

The multi-year undercover investigation involved federal, state and local police. It resulted in the seizure of 458 dogs in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, according to prosecutors. The arrests and searches began in August 2012, in what animal rights groups described as the nation’s second largest dog-fighting investigation.

Prosecutors said most of the fights were held in a wooded area near Auburn, Ala.

Seven others arrested in connection with the dog fighting were also sentenced Wednesday, including one man sentenced to eight years in prison – the longest sentence ever in a federal dog fighting case, according to WSFA-TV in Montgomery.

The others sentenced, according to WSFA, were:

Donnie Anderson, 50, of Auburn, received an eight-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy, sponsoring dog fights, possessing a fighting dog and operating an illegal gambling business.

Demontt Allen, 38, of Houston, Texas, received five years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and admitting participation in high-stakes dog fights.

Michael Martin, 56, of Auburn, received a five-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Irkis Forrest, 33, of Theodore, Ala., received a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy.

William Antone Edwards, 43, of Brantley, Ala., received one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy.

Sandy Brown, 48, of Brownsville, Ala., received six months in prison for sponsoring a dog fight.

Jennifer McDonald, 36, of Collins, Miss., received two months in prison and two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.