Pentagon official with security clearance charged with running dogfighting ring

A senior Defense Department official was arrested in Maryland last week on allegations of facilitating a dog fighting ring for more than 20 years, more than half the time he worked at the Pentagon and held a security clearance.

Frederick Moorefield, 62, was arrested on Thursday and served as Deputy Chief information officer for command, control and communications for the Defense Secretary’s Chief Information Officer. Five dogs were recovered from Moorefield’s home along with jumper cables, allegedly used to execute dogs. 

Frederick Moorefield

Frederick Moorefield, 62, of Arnold, Maryland, was arrested alongside Mario Damon Flythe, age 49, of Glen Burnie, Maryland with promoting and furthering animal fighting venture.  (U.S. Defense Department)

According to court documents, Anne Arundel County Animal Control found two dead dogs with wounds in a plastic bag about six miles from Moorefield’s house five years ago in 2018. Mail addressed to Moorefield was also found in the same plastic bag.  

Responding to a question from Fox News on this, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said, “It’s an ongoing case. I think these are some things that of course will come out in the investigation. I think you raised an excellent point on, you know, why or — were behaviors caught when it should have been. That’s something that will be revealed of course as the Department of Justice leads this investigation.”

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Pitbull in a cage

Five pitbulls were found by authorities serving a warrant at Moorefield’s home on September 6th. They were allegedly being trained for dogfighting. (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland)

Authorities have been investigating the larger dogfighting ring Moorefield allegedly participated in for years. Just last year, nine other dog-fighters were indicted in Virginia

Animal rights advocate, Wayne Pacelle who founded Animal Wellness Action said in an interview, this is the “most significant dogfighting case in the United States since the Michael Vick arrest in 2007.

“These are clandestine criminal networks,” Pacelle told Fox News. 

“They use encrypted messages. They have stories that try to give them the patina of legitimacy for having these dogs and they know that they’re engaging in felony level activity. So they’re trying to stay outside of the gaze of our law enforcement officials,” Pacelle said. 

Animal Wellness Action has proposed a bipartisan Bill known as the Fight Act – sponsored by Senators John Kennedy (R-LA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-OR). 

The Fight Act would make it easier to prosecute these dog fighting rings with more money for law enforcement and rewards for any tipsters who report the ring leaders.

Pentagon, Moorefield

Frederick Moorefield, 62, of Arnold, Maryland, was arrested alongside Mario Damon Flythe, age 49, of Glen Burnie, Maryland with promoting and furthering animal fighting venture.  (Getty Images/U.S. Defense Department)

“We just need more resources and we need more tools. We need more agents on these cases Wreaking into these rings and dismantling them. That’s why our fight act creates,” Pacelle said. 

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“For the first time ever, a private right of action… Eyes and ears are all over in this country. People have these pit bull type dogs on chains in their backyards. They have scars. We know what’s going on. We just need more enforcement. We need more action to stop it.”

Animal Wellness Action offers a $5,000 reward for information resulting in the successful prosecution of any individuals for violating the federal law against animal fighting. Pacelle says people can send tips to Animalcrultytips@animalwellnessaction.org. People can report any suspicious activity to local animal control or 911. 

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“It’s startling when you have an NFL quarterback or you have a senior official in the Pentagon involved in dogfighting. But that’s the reality. It’s going on all over the United States. This is a clarion call for us to stop it, Pacelle said, speaking about how widespread dogfighting still is in America. 

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