Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (May 30, 2018) – The Oneida Indian Nation Police Department (OINPD) announced today that three men were arrested and charged early Tuesday morning May 28th, 2019, in connection with their involvement in starting an early morning fire at a vacant building owned by the Oneida Indian Nation located on Germany Road in the Town of Verona, County of Oneida. The building is located on Oneida Indian Nation land, formerly known as the old US Air Force Test Site on Germany Road.

Arrested in connection with the fire were Thomas M. Taverne Jr., age 23, Durhamville, NY, John A. Rathbun, age 21, Verona, NY, and an unidentified male, age 17, Canastota, NY.

Taverne and the unidentified 17 year old male were both arrested and charged with Arson in the Fourth Degree, a Class E Felony, and arraigned in the Town of Verona Court. Taverne was remanded to the Oneida County Jail in lieu of $10,000.00 bail. The 17 year old male was released on his own recognizance to a family member.  Rathbun was arrested and charged with Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, a Class B Misdemeanor, and released on an appearance ticket returnable to the Town of Verona Court.

Multiple area volunteer fire departments consisting of the Verona Volunteer Fire Department, New London Volunteer Fire Department, Sylvan Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Durhamville Volunteer Fire Department, Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, Vernon Volunteer Fire Department, Vernon Center Volunteer Fire Department, Oneida Castle Volunteer Fire Department, Sherrill Volunteer Fire Department, Stanwix Heights Volunteer Fire Department, Westmoreland Volunteer Fire Department, Wampsville Volunteer Fire Department and the Canastota Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene and assisted in bringing the fire under control and eventually extinguishing it.

Assisting the Oneida Indian Nation Police in the investigation were members from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.


About the Oneida Indian Nation

The Oneida Indian Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation in Central New York. A founding member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Six Nations or Iroquois Confederacy), the Oneida Indian Nation sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was thanked by Congress and President George Washington for its loyalty and assistance. Today, the Oneida Indian Nation consists of about 1,000 enrolled Members, most of them living in Central New York. The Nation’s enterprises, which employ more than 4,750 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, Point Place Casino, Maple Leaf Markets, SāvOn Convenience stores, RV Park, three marinas and Tin Woodman’s Flask, a wine and spirits superstore. Proceeds from these enterprises are used to rebuild the Nation’s economic base and provide essential services, including housing, health care, and education incentives and programs, to its Members.