Pennsylvania Man Found Guilty of Torturing Victim in Illegal Weapons Manufacturing Plant

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The 54-year-old resident of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, was found guilty by a federal jury on May 19, according to an announcement made by the Department of Justice.

Pennsylvania Man Found Guilty of Torturing Victim
Pennsylvania Man Found Guilty of Torturing Victim ( Photo: Homeland Security Today )

A Pennsylvania man, identified as Ross Roggio, has been convicted of several crimes, including torture, related to his involvement in an unlawful weapons production facility in Iraq

The criminal activities occurred within the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Roggio had been establishing a weapons factory in the area, where he provided training to foreign individuals engaged in the assembly and manufacturing of the M4 automatic rifle. Additionally, he illicitly exported restricted weapon components without the necessary approvals from the U.S. State and Commerce Departments.

During the trial, court documents and evidence revealed that in 2015, Roggio subjected an Estonian citizen, who was employed at the factory, to prolonged torture for over a month. The victim, whose identity has been withheld, was forcibly taken and held captive at a Kurdish military compound. Roggio proceeded to suffocate and threaten the victim, while also instructing Kurdish soldiers stationed at the compound to physically and mentally abuse him for a staggering 39 days.

The victim’s brave decision to come forward contributed to Roggio’s conviction on multiple charges

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr., of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, emphasized the severity of Roggio’s actions in a news release, stating that he “brutally tortured another human being to prevent interference with his illegal activities.” Polite expressed gratitude towards the victim, other witnesses, U.S. law enforcement, and Estonian authorities for their assistance, ensuring that Roggio will be held responsible for his acts of cruelty.

Roggio has been found guilty of torture, conspiracy to commit torture, conspiring to commit an offense against the United States, unauthorized export of weapons parts and services to Iraq, unauthorized export of weapons tools to Iraq, smuggling goods, wire fraud, and money laundering. As a result, he may face life imprisonment, with his sentencing scheduled for August 23.


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