Colts safety Rodney Thomas II’s father is accused of fatally shooting a bald eagle

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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.

Indianapolis Colt Rodney Thomas II warms up before the game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, October 2, 2022 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. (Jenna Watson/IndyStar/USA TODAY NETWORK)

«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.

A bald eagle was found dead in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Gaming Commission’s Operation Game Thief program said a bald eagle was found shot to death near Cherry Valley Dam in Mount Pleasant Township on May 12. (Operation Game Thief Program of the Pennsylvania Game Commission)

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.

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“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.»

Two Bald Eagles in a nest in a tree

Two mature bald eagles in their nest in Mount Pleasant Township, Pennsylvania. One of them was killed by a poacher in May, shortly after two eaglets hatched. (Shannon Kuzio)

If convicted, Thomas could face up to a year in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

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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.

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