(NewsNation) — A senior official in the Defense Department’s communications staff has been charged with participating in a dogfighting ring for more than 20 years, according to court records.
Frederick Douglass Moorefield Jr., 62, of Arnold, Maryland, was a deputy chief information officer for command, control, and communications within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, chief information officer.
He was arrested on a charge of promoting and furthering animal fighting venture, along with Mario D. Flythe, a friend who prosecutors say admitted his participating in the dogfighting. Both were released after being arraigned in federal district court in Baltimore.
Federal prosecutors allege both Moorefield and Flythe trained and fought dogs on their properties in the D.C. area. During a search of Moorefield’s home Sept. 6, FBI agents seized five dogs and jumper cables, which were apparently used to electrocute dogs who lost fights, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The dogs were found in a windowless room in the basement of Moorefield’s house. They were being kept in “thick-barred metal cages,” court records show. The room also contained “weighted collars and heavy metal chains” that are known to be used to increase dogs’ strength during training.
Authorities said they also found “an apparatus that is used for involuntarily inseminating female dogs” as well as stains on rugs, wood panels and walls that were “consistent with bloodstains from dogfights held at the location.”
Federal agents found seven dogs on Flythe’s property, which was also searched Sept. 6.
A Pentagon spokesman said in a statement to the Washington Post that the Defense Department was “aware of the criminal complaint” filed against Moorefield.
“We can confirm that the individual is no longer in the workplace, but we cannot comment further on an individual personnel matter,” Lt. Cmdr. Tim Gorman said.
Moorefield’s arrest came as part of a yearslong investigation into the dogfighting ring that called itself “the DMV Board,” according to the affidavit filed by FBI Special Agent Ryan C. Daly. Nine alleged dogfighters were indicted last year in Virginia, and eight have pleaded guilty and cooperated with investigators, court records show. The ring includes upwards of 28 members.
FBI agents obtained texts sent on the messaging app Telegram, which was used to organize fights. Moorefield went by the nickname “Geehad Fred” and “Geehad Kennels” and had been involved with dogfights “since at least 2002,” according to the affidavit.
In November 2018, Anne Arundel County Animal Control had responded to a report of two dead dogs in a plastic dog food bag in Annapolis, Daley wrote in the affidavit. The location where the dogs were found was about 6 miles from Moorefield’s property, and mail with his address on it was inside the bag.
On the day of the raid, Moorefield acknowledged to agents that he uses the alias “Geehad Kennels,” the affidavit states. Likewise, Flythe told an agent he uses the name “Razor Sharp Kennels.”