Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment late yesterday charging Frederick Douglass Moorefield, Jr., age 62, of Arnold, Maryland, and Mario Damon Flythe, age 49, of Glen Burnie, Maryland with conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture and other charges related to their alleged establishment and promotion of a dog fighting ring.
Flythe and Moorefield are scheduled to have an initial appearance and arraignment on the indictment on Friday, October 6, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., respectively, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore before U.S. Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite. The defendants are currently released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services on related charges.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Wayne A. Jacobs of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office, Criminal and Cyber Division; 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; Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal for Maryland Mathew Silverman; and Anne Arundel County Police Chief Amal E. Awad.
“The mistreatment of animals for sport is among the lowest level of human conduct,” said Erek L. Barron, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland. “Those who engage in this cruelty will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to the indictment, Moorefield and Flythe used encrypted messaging applications to communicate with individuals throughout the United States to discuss dogfighting. Moorefield used the name “Geehad Kennels” and Flythe used the name “Razor Sharp Kennels” to identify their respective dogfighting operations.
As alleged in the indictment, Moorefield, Flythe and their associates used the encrypted messaging applications to discuss dogfights, dogfighting, breeding fighting dogs, training techniques to maximize their chances of developing champion fighting dogs, and methods to avoid being caught by law enforcement, as well as to buy and sell veterinary supplies for use on fighting dogs, arrange and coordinate dogfights, and exchange information about wagers on dogfights.
Further, the indictment alleges that between June 2022 and September 2023, the defendants unlawfully possessed, trained, delivered and received dogs to participate in an animal fighting venture and from February 2019 to September 2023 used the internet and text and instant-messaging applications to promote, manage and facilitate gambling related to the dogfights. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of any proceeds derived from, or traceable to, the gambling enterprise.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for each of the 10 counts charged in the indictment. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI, the United States Department of Agriculture – Office of the Inspector General, the DoD Office of Inspector General’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Anne Arundel County Police Department, Anne Arundel County Animal Control, and thanked the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia for their valuable assistance in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander Levin and Darryl Tarver, who are prosecuting the case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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