A U.S. Department of Defense official was charged with “promoting and furthering animal fighting venture,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Department of Defense Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, and Communications Frederick Douglass Moorefield, Jr. is accused of participating in a dogfighting ring in the D.C. area for roughly 20 years.
Mario Damon Flythe, age 49, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, was also implicated in the federal criminal complaint.
“According to the affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Moorefield, a Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, and Communications, for Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Flythe used an encrypted messaging application to communicate with individuals throughout the United States to discuss dogfighting,” the DOJ press release stated.
“Moorefield used the name ‘Geehad Kennels’ and Flythe used the name ‘Razor Sharp Kennels’ to identify their respective dogfighting operations.”
BREAKING REPORT: Pentagon official charged with Participating / Running a DOG FIGHTING RING for almost 20 years..
Frederick Douglass Moorefield Jr., 62, of was a deputy chief information officer for command, control and communications for the Secretary of Defense’s Chief… pic.twitter.com/RRVuW7WXQk
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) October 3, 2023
From the DOJ press release:
For example, as detailed in the affidavit, Moorefield, Flythe and their associates used the encrypted messaging application to discuss how to train dogs for illegal dogfighting, exchanged videos about dogfighting, and arranged and coordinated dogfights. Moorefield and Flythe also discussed betting on dogfighting, discussed dogs that died as a result of dogfighting, and circulated media reports about dogfighters who had been caught by law enforcement. As further alleged in the affidavit, Moorefield and others also discussed how to conceal their conduct from law enforcement.
On September 6, 2023, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at Moorefield and Flythe’s residences in Maryland. Following the execution of these warrants, twelve dogs were recovered and seized by the federal government. Law enforcement also recovered veterinary steroids, training schedules, a carpet that appeared to be stained with blood, and a weighted dog vest with a patch reading “Geehad Kennels.” In addition, law enforcement officers seized a device consisting of an electrical plug and jumper cables, which the affidavit alleges is consistent with devices used to execute dogs that lose dogfights.
Pentagon official arrested for running pit bull dogfighting ringhttps://t.co/7duKa6Yhen
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 3, 2023
Both men were reportedly released after being arraigned.
The Washington Post reports:
Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement on Monday that the Defense Department was “aware of the criminal complaint” filed against Moorefield in federal district court in Baltimore.
“We can confirm that the individual is no longer in the workplace, but we cannot comment further on an individual personnel matter,” Gorman said. He did not say if Moorefield had been suspended, terminated or allowed to retire.
An affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Ryan C. Daly indicated that authorities have been investigating the dogfighting ring, which called itself “the DMV Board,” for years. Nine fellow dog-fighters were indicted in Virginia last year, and eight have pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators. Members communicated on the “Telegram” messaging app about training fighting dogs, exchanging videos, arranging fights and wagers, and comparing methods of killing dogs who lost fights, the affidavit states.
Online records maintained by the dogs’ owners showed that Moorefield had been involved in dogfighting “since at least 2002,” Daly wrote, and evidence of Moorefield’s training for fights, or refereeing other owners’ dog fights, was found periodically over the years, including extensive messaging lining up fights and prize money. Evidence indicated some fights occurred earlier this year, despite the arrests of others in the ring, and that Moorefield and Flythe were “experimenting with different types of performance enhancing drugs to improve [their] chances of winning dogfights.”
Anne Arundel County authorities had received complaints about Moorefield and Flythe for years, and in November 2018 the county animal control was alerted to a report of two dead dogs in a plastic dog food bag in Annapolis, about six miles from Moorefield’s home, Daly wrote. In addition to the dogs in the bag, investigators found mail addressed to Moorefield, Daly’s affidavit stated.