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Father of Colts’ safety Rodney Thomas II indicted over fatal shooting of bald eagle

Rodney Thomas, father of Colts safety Rodney Thomas II, was indicted on charges related to the May killing of a bald eagle in Pennsylvania, the U.S. Attorney General's office said.

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 back in May, officials announced last week. 

The U.S. Attorney General’s office of the Western District of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday that 50-year-old Rodney Thomas 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 investigating and prosecuting environmental and wildlife offenses under federal law, including the unlawful killing of bald eagles—the United States’ national bird since 1782," U.S. Attorney Eric G. Olshan said in a statement. 


According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, a dead bald eagle was located near Cherry Valley Dam in Mount Pleasant Township on May 12. A white SUV was located in the area, but officials released no further details regarding a potential suspect. 

Days later, the office announced that a suspect was 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. 


"The bald eagle is our national bird and is widely known as being symbolic of our independence as a country," Washington County District Attorney Jason Walsh said in a statement. 

"A symbolic species such as the bald eagle deserves our protection. My office, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, and the Mt. Pleasant Police Department worked diligently coordinating with each other 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. 

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 were guarding two eaglets that recently hatched in the nest.

Fox News’s Michael Ruiz and Jordan Early contributed to this report.

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