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The man arrested last month at a school on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation was indicted Wednesday on two charges in federal court. 

Daniel J. Richardson, Jr., was charged with making a threatening communication and possessing a firearm in a school zone by a grand jury at the U.S. District Court in Rapid City.

According to an affidavit, Richardson, who is from Tennessee, sent a video to an employee of the Red Cloud Indian School on Sept. 20. He was encouraged to make a video with a message to the Red Cloud students in an invitation he received for an open house at the school. He received the invitation for the event after making a $1,000 donation to the school in 2017.

In the 10-minute video, Richardson holds up a machete and later a document from Red Cloud. He says the Lakota people are "being played again" by Jesuits and other Christian religions. "We're going to get rid of the religions," Richardson says. "And I'm going to use the Indian nations to start this battle." 

He told FBI agents that he thought he had made the donation to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and only realized it was to Red Cloud, a private Jesuit school, when he received the invitation, according to the complaint. While Richardson referenced Biblical concepts and verses in his video and to the agents, he also railed against Jesuits and other organized religions, specifically in regards to their relation to the Lakota people. 

The firearm charge is for possessing a Ruger LCRx .22 revolver, which tribal police found under the front seat of Richardson's pickup truck when he showed up at Red Cloud on Sept. 21, according to the affidavit. 

After the Red Cloud employee who received the video sent it to law enforcement, Robert Ecoffey, police chief of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, left a voicemail for Richardson telling him not to come to the school or anywhere else on the reservation, the complaint says. 

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FBI agents also watched the video and several others that Richardson posted to YouTube. In the other videos, according to the the complaint, he speaks about going to "light it up" in the Dakotas, mentions that he has weapons in his trailer, and is "going hunting," said he was bringing silver to "buy the Indians back," and talks about bringing the sword of Elijah with him to the reservation. 

Agents contacted Richardson's wife, who told them he left Tennessee on Sept. 14 in his pickup with two handguns, according to the complaint. The agents then gave a description of his truck to Pine Ridge police and Red Cloud staff.

After-school staff saw his vehicle on Sept. 21, according to the complaint, and called tribal police, who arrested Richardson. Officers saw the machete knife and a sword in his truck and found the Ruger revolver underneath the driver's seat. Richardson was taken to the Pine Ridge Adult Offenders Facility and charged in tribal court with a weapons offense and trespassing. 

A billy club and a bag of silver coins were later found in Richardson's truck. Richardson told FBI agents that he had other firearms, including a shotgun, in his trailer at a KOA campground, the complaint says. 

Richardson was cooperative during an interview with FBI agents but became agitated when they asked about his religious beliefs, according to the complaint. He said while he wanted to speak with Red Cloud staff to tell them to cast out Jesuits from their school and organized religion from the reservation, he had no plans to harm anyone, or else he would have brought the weapons from his trailer with him. While Richardson insisted he didn't want to hurt anyone at the school, he did say he would "kill any law enforcement" that went into his home or property. 

Richardson remains in the Pennington County Jail where he was booked on Sept. 24, according to the jail's website. 

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— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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