EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A Stroudsburg man has been charged with torturing a man in Iraq in addition to previous charges of illegal exportation of firearms.
The charges come from the Department of Justice and state that in 2015, 53-year-old Ross Roggio tortured a man in the Kurdistan, which is part of Iraq but with its own government and military.
According to the release, Roggio suffocated the victim with a belt until losing consciousness, threatened to cut off his fingers, and directed Kurdish soldiers to inflict pain on him over a 39-day period.
The indictment states that in 2015, Roggio was overseeing the construction of a weapons factory in Kurdistan. One of the employees under Roggio’s supervision raised concerns about the project and was abducted by Kurdish military under Roggio’s orders.
During the man’s 39-day imprisonment, the release states that he was interrogated, which included being suffocated with a bag, tasered over various parts of his body including the groin, being beaten with fists and rubber hoses, having his chest jumped on, and threats of mutilation of his fingers.
The indictment also states that Roggio would force other employees to watch the torture to intimidate and demonstrate what would happen if they attempted to interfere with the project.
In 2018, Roggio and his company, Roggio Consulting Company LLC, were charged with 37 counts of illegally exporting firearms parts and tools from the United States to Iraq as part of a weapons project in Kurdistan.
In addition to the 37 firearms charges, Roggio now also faces a charge of conspiracy to commit torture and one count of torture. If convicted, Roggio could be imprisoned for 20 years for each torture charge, in addition to the maximum 705 years for illegal firearms exporting.