Baltimore, Maryland – Frederick Douglass Moorefield, Jr., aged 62, of Arnold, Maryland, and Mario Damon Flythe, aged 49, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, are facing federal charges for their alleged involvement in promoting and advancing an animal fighting venture. The criminal complaint, filed on September 21, 2023, was unsealed during their initial appearances on September 28, 2023, where U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Mark Coulson ordered their release pending trial under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
The charges were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Erek L. Barron, alongside law enforcement officials, including Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Special Agent in Charge Bethanne M. Dinkins of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, Special Agent in Charge Christopher Dillard of the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service – Mid-Atlantic Field Office, U.S. Marshal for Maryland Johnny Hughes, and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal E. Awad.
According to the supporting affidavit, Moorefield, who serves as a Deputy Chief Information Officer for Command, Control, and Communications for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Flythe, communicated with individuals across the United States using an encrypted messaging application to discuss illegal dogfighting. Moorefield operated under the pseudonym “Geehad Kennels,” while Flythe used “Razor Sharp Kennels” to identify their respective dogfighting operations.
The affidavit reveals disturbing details of their activities, including discussions on training dogs for illegal dogfighting, sharing videos related to dogfighting, and coordinating dogfights. Additionally, the defendants discussed betting on dogfights, incidents where dogs died as a result of dogfighting, and circulated media reports about apprehended dogfighters. The affidavit further alleges that Moorefield and others explored methods to conceal their activities from law enforcement.
On September 6, 2023, law enforcement officers executed search warrants at the residences of Moorefield and Flythe in Maryland, resulting in the recovery and seizure of twelve dogs by the federal government. Authorities also discovered veterinary steroids, training schedules, a carpet stained with what appeared to be blood, and a weighted dog vest with a “Geehad Kennels” patch. Notably, they also confiscated a device comprising an electrical plug and jumper cables, consistent with devices used to euthanize dogs that lost in dogfights.
It is crucial to note that a criminal complaint is not indicative of guilt, and individuals charged through a criminal complaint are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in subsequent legal proceedings. If convicted, both defendants could face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for their involvement in possessing, training, or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture. Sentencing will be determined by a federal district court judge, taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other relevant statutory factors.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron extended his appreciation to the various law enforcement agencies involved in the investigation, including the FBI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, and Anne Arundel County Animal Control. Mr. Barron also acknowledged the valuable assistance provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Levin and Darryl Tarver are prosecuting the case.