US Homeland Security probe leads to indictment over threats to St. Regis Mohawk police

A man living in Cortland, NY, was recently indicted by a U.S. federal Grand Jury for threatening to kill three St. Regis Mohawk Tribal police officers, court records show.

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
A man living in Cortland, NY, was recently indicted by a U.S. federal Grand Jury for threatening to kill three St. Regis Mohawk Tribal police officers, court records show.

The indictment followed an investigation by US Homeland Security agents.

Roy S. Redeye was indicted last Wednesday on two counts of issuing an “interstate threat to injure another person.” He allegedly posted the threats on Facebook.

Cortland is about 330 kilometres south of the New York state side of Akwesasne.

Redeye allegedly issued the threats against the Mohawk police officers on Feb. 6. He posted the threats along with a photo showing him holding a “double-edged switchblade,” according to the criminal complaint filed with U.S. federal court.

“I anit scarde to die are u/Kill pigs fuck em/Get DAT tribal swamp kill him/And his Partner/Im gonna home and waste pigs/Oi any scared ar e wreu/Warriors Standupn/I want belso Herne deadt/Kill pigs fuck em/I anit sacred to die are u (sic),” said the Facebook post quoted in the complaint.

According to the complaint, the Facebook post referred to officer Ronald Swamp and Sgt. Belson Herne. Swamp’s patrol partner is not identified in the complaint.

The post was deleted, but not before it was captured by the St. Regis Mohawk police which issued an “officer safety bulletin” to law enforcement agencies throughout northern New York State.

“(The bulletin) urged law enforcement to use extreme caution when dealing with Redeye as he had an active arrest warrant and been arrested on the Akwesasne territory numerous times,” said complaint.

The bulletin caught the eye of Homeland Security Investigators who opened a file on the incident and began gathering information.

Homeland Security Special Agent Juan Adames was given copies of the Facebook post and images of Redeye by St. Regis Investigator Tina Sunday. Sunday told Adames the police force was taking the threats seriously “in part due to their institutional knowledge of Redeye’s violent criminal history.”

Redeye’s criminal history includes multiple arrests throughout New York State for harassment, criminal mischief, larceny and forgery, among other offenses.

Adames “discovered” an outstanding arrest warrant for Redeye and tracked him down in Cortland. Adames and Special Agent Timothy Losito travelled to Cortland, met with the local police department and provided the warrant for Redeye’s arrest.

Redeye was arrested at 9:30 a.m. by local police on Feb. 10. The Homeland Security agents interviewed Redeye about 10 minutes later. Redeye almost admitted to posting the threats on Facebook, according to the criminal complaint. He also allegedly admitted to sending a direct threat message to Herne.

“One or more of these police officers were involved in one or more prior arrests of Redeye which he stated was a motive to lodge the death threats against them,” said the criminal complaint.

Redeye then allegedly consented to a search of his bedroom and belongings along with a forensic examination of his computer and electronic devices, said the complaint. The forensic examination of Redeye’s tablet computer found photos similar to those posted on Facebook. A double-edged switchblade knife was also seized from his room, said the complaint.

Redeye is currently still in custody because he is a “serious risk of flight” and a “serious risk of danger to the community,” according to court records.

A date for Redeye’s arraignment is scheduled to be set by March 20.

St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Chief Matthew Rourke said Redeye does have ties to Akwesasne, but wasn’t sure whether he is considered a band member.

Rourke said he doesn’t believe his police force faces any ongoing threat.

“The individual is in custody as of right now,” he said. “We believe the threat is handled at this time.”

Rourke said people should “be careful on what they put on social media.”

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