OAN’s Taylor Tinsley
1:30 PM – Tuesday, October 3, 2023
A Pentagon official has now been charged with “promoting and furthering animal fighting ventures” in running an illegal dogfighting ring in Maryland.
Frederick Douglass Moorefield, 62, who is a deputy chief information officer for Command, Control, and Communications for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and co-defendants Mario Damon Flythe, 49, were indicted on Monday.
According to the affidavit, Moorefield and Flythe used encrypted messages in order to communicate with individuals across the country. They reportedly discussed how to train dogs, exchange videos, make bets, arrange and coordinate dog fights, and how to conceal their conduct from law enforcement officials.
Officers raided a handful of residences in early September and recovered 12 dogs, veterinary steroids, a blood-stained carpet, and battery jumper cables, which investigators claimed were used to execute dogs who lost the fights.
The 62-year-old Pentagon official allegedly took part in the ring for more than 20 years and a spokesperson told The Washington Post that Moorefield is no longer in the agency.
If convicted, both face up to five years behind bars. Federal investigators continue to crackdown on dogfighting rings across the country.
In September, unsealed court documents revealed that police rescued at least 75 dogs from a fighting ring in Indiana. 21 people were federally charged in the investigation, where police also seized guns, drugs, and money.
In South Carolina, authorities also recently seized about 120 dogs in what they called the second largest seizure in the state’s history. Officials rescued nearly 300 dogs across several properties in the state in 2022.
The largest-ever dogfighting bust took place in 2009, when investigators recovered 500 dogs in a six-state operation known as the “Missouri 500.”
The Humane Society noted ways to help put a stop to dogfighting rings, highlighting signs for people to look out for.
The following warning signs can help aid in ending dogfighting rings:
- An inordinate number of pit bull-type dogs being kept in one location, especially multiple dogs who are chained and seem unsocialized.
- Dogs with scars on their faces, front legs and hind-quarters.
- Dogfighting training equipment such as treadmills used to build dogs’ endurance, “break sticks” used to pry apart the jaws of dogs locked in battle, tires or “springpoles” (usually a large spring with rope attached to either end) hanging from tree limbs or unusual foot traffic coming and
The organization continues to rehabilitate the animals that were rescued so that they can go on to find their forever homes and families. The Human Society noted that while the rehabilitation process can be lengthy, the rescued dogs can learn to trust again.
“If you suspect an operation in your area, alert your local law enforcement agency and urge officials to contact the HSUS for practical tools, advice and assistance.”
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts