Pentagon official charged with participating in dog fighting ring
The Washington Post October 3, 2023
A senior member of the Department of Defense communications staff has been arrested and charged with participating in a dog fighting ring in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 20 years, federal authorities disclosed Monday. The ring regularly trained dogs for fights, ran thousands of dollars in bets on the outcomes and executed dogs that didn’t die during matches, court records state.
Frederick Douglass Moorefield Jr., 62, of Arnold, Md., was a deputy chief information officer for command, control and communications for the Secretary of Defense’s Chief Information Officer, court records and Moorefield’s LinkedIn page show. He was arrested Thursday on a charge of promoting and furthering animal fighting venture, along with a longtime friend who allegedly admitted his participation in dog fighting, Mario D. Flythe, 49, of Glen Burnie, Md.
Investigators found battery jumper cables, which allegedly were used to execute dogs at Moorefield’s house, along with five pit bull-type dogs at his house and five pit bull-type dogs at Flythe’s house, court records show.
The FBI, the Department of Agriculture, and other local and federal agencies raided both houses on Sept. 6, according to a federal affidavit, finding weighted collars and heavy metal chains used to increase fighting dogs’ strength. Authorities said they also found “an apparatus that is used for involuntarily inseminating female dogs” and stains “consistent with bloodstains from dogfights.”
Both men were released after being arraigned.
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 dog fighting “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.
When Daly spoke to Moorefield on the day of the raid, he acknowledged that he operated under the name “Geehad Kennels,” and that local animal control and law enforcement had previously visited his property, the affidavit states. Flythe told another FBI agent that he used the name “Razor Sharp Kennels” and “admitted to having engaged in dogfighting in the past.”
No lawyers were listed in court records for the two men.
A phone number for Moorefield was unavailable, and Flythe did not immediately return a call seeking comment.