Department of Defense official charged with running dog fighting ring

At least 12 dogs were recovered and seized by the federal government.

October 3, 2023, 4:54 AM

A Department of Defense official has been charged with dog fighting, according to records unsealed by the Justice Department on Monday night.

Fredrick D. Moorefield Jr. -- who serves as the deputy chief information officer for command, control and communications -- allegedly engaged in dog fighting under the code name "GeeHad," according to a statement from the Maryland U.S. Attorney's office.

"Moorefield … and [his] associates used [an] encrypted messaging application to discuss how to train dogs for illegal dogfighting, exchanged videos about dogfighting, and arranged and coordinated dogfights," the statement read. "Moorefield … 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 … also discussed how to conceal [his] conduct from law enforcement."

In one instance in 2018, the DOJ alleges that Moorefield disposed of two dogs who had been killed on his Maryland property that had wounds consistent with dog fighting. Officials eventually linked Mooerfield to the dead dogs by identifying a piece of mail located with the dogs' bodies, authorities said.

The agent who filed the complaint alleges that Moorefield "sponsored" the dogs in a dog fight.

Moorefield was allegedly involved in a larger dog fighting conspiracy called DMV Kennels, in what reassembled some sort of dog fighting league, the DOJ said in its statement.

The complaint alleges Moorefield had been dog fighting and training dogs to fight since at least 2009.

Prosecutors say they found "multiple" photographs, taken in March 2023, that show dogs in cages and wearing weighted collars -- all hallmarks that are consistent with dog fighting training.

A known dog fighter who agreed to cooperate with the government confirmed that Moorefield was engaged in training dogs to fight and wagering on them.

Meanwhile, at least 12 dogs were seized between two properties belonging to Moorefield and his co-defendant, a barber who was also charged with dog fighting.

Telegram messages from September 2023 show that Moorefield was allegedly engaging in dog fighting and officials said that he admitted this to investigators when they came to search his property.

Following his arrest, authorities were able to seize items consistent with killing dogs after they lose in a fight.

"Twelve dogs were recovered and seized by the federal government," officials announced. "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."

If convicted, Moorefield faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for possessing, training, or transporting animals for participation in an animal fighting venture.

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