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#1 Jun-08-2017 08:58:pm

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Registered: May-12-2006
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Ramapough leaders charged with criminal mischief

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/b … 382460001/

MAHWAH — Two leaders of the Ramapough Lenape Nation have been charged with criminal mischief following an investigation into vandalism at the Polo Club, a residential development next to the tribe's property.

Tribe member Steven D. Smith, 29, is accused of tampering with a neighborhood surveillance camera by trying to turn the lens to a different view, according to police. He was driven to the scene by Chief Dwaine Perry, police said.

Police say they observed the pair while reviewing surveillance video during an investigation into vandalism at the Polo Club. Residents had told police on May 12 that someone vandalized "no parking" and homeowners' signs placed along 95 Halifax Road, where the Ramapoughs' camp is located. Investigators had also determined that a shotgun was used to shoot out two historic streetlights that illuminated a bridge owned by the Polo Club.

Surveillance footage at the scene showed a shadowy figure who police said was Harold Molt Jr., a 66-year-old elder of the Mohawk people in upstate New York and a friend of the Ramapough tribe.

Molt was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, hindering apprehension and various weapons offenses.

In the course of the investigation, police said they recovered images allegedly showing Smith, whose tribal name is Owl, attempting to adjust a camera on the bridge on May 9.

Perry, 69, and Smith are due in Mahwah Municipal Court on July 13, police said.

Perry declined to comment Thursday.

The Ramapough tribe is currently at odds with the Polo Club and the township, which is suing the Ramapoughs for allegedly using their Halifax Road property as a place of public assembly and campground, complete with tepees, tents, a canvas cabin and a yurt, all of which violate local zoning law.

Polo Club residents have made multiple noise and domestic disturbance complaints about the tribe.

Email: nobile@northjersey.com

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