The father of Indianapolis Colts Safety Rodney Thomas II has been indicted on federal charges related to allegations that he shot and killed a bald eagle in Pennsylvania in May, officials announced last week.
The US Attorney General’s Office. Western District of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that Rodney Thomas, 50, was indicted by a federal grand jury after he allegedly shot and killed a mature bald eagle with an air rifle, a violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
«This office remains committed to the investigation and prosecution of environmental and wildlife crimes under federal law, including the unlawful killing of bald eagles, the national bird of the United States since 1782,» U.S. Attorney Eric G. Olshan said in a statement.
COLTS SAFETY’S FATHER IDENTIFIED AS MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY KILLED BALD EAGLE WITH RIFLE
According to the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission, a dead bald eagle it was located near the Cherry Valley Dam in Mount Pleasant Township on May 12. A white SUV was located in the area, but officials did not provide further details on a possible suspect.
Days later, the bureau announced that a suspect had been identified and later turned himself in. The Attorney General’s office announced Thomas’ indictment more than two months later. He was first identified as the nfl player’s father by the New York Post.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
“The bald eagle is our national bird and is widely known to be a symbol of our independence as a country,” Washington County District Attorney Jason Walsh said in a statement.
«A symbolic species like the bald eagle deserves our protection. My office, along with the US Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania Gaming Commission and the Mt. Pleasant Police Department worked diligently in coordination to identify and charge the individual responsible and bring him to justice.»
If convicted, Thomas could face up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Linda Carnevali, a resident of Mount Pleasant Township, told Fox News Digital that the eagle was one of two in the area that had been there for nearly two decades. They guarded two newborn eaglets in the nest.
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz and Jordan Early contributed to this report.