MONROE COUNTY, Penn. (WBRE/WYOU) — A man from the Poconos was taken into custody after new charges were filed against him for torture.

Fifty-three-year-old Ross Roggio is facing new federal charges for allegedly torturing one of his employees in Iraq about seven years ago.

Back in 2018, Roggio was charged with illegally exporting weapons parts to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The superseding indictment states Roggio worked with Kurdish officials to construct a weapons factory and produce weapons for Kurdish soldiers.

A superseding indictment filed this week states Roggio worked with Kurdish officials to construct a weapons factory and produce weapons for Kurdish soldiers.

That employee was allegedly tortured for 39 days the indictment states Roggio led multiple interrogation sessions directing Kurdish soldiers to suffocate the victim with a bag, taser them, and threatened to cut off one of the victim’s fingers.

Roggio was taken into custody on Thursday night in Pittston. We spoke to a former neighbor about Roggio and when the FBI raided his home back in 2018.

“What he said was he works in construction. That he had worked in the army and was in the construction corp there. It was crazy, I still don’t know very much about it but it was insane,” stated Steve.

His mother spoke exclusively with Eyewitness News. She says ross is her caretaker here at their home and she is heartbroken.

“I’m a mother of course everybody thinks I’m wrong. A wrong idea everybody thinks of me. But I just can’t live without him,” explained Soon Roggio.

Soon Roggio spoke to us about the moment she found out her son, Ross Roggio, was taken into custody for allegedly torturing a person who worked for him in Iraq.

She said he was supposedly going to Pittston to get a drug test Thursday but never came home. He called her hours later when he was arrested.

“He said he’s ok but he was just worried about me and my husband, rather than himself,” stated Soon.

Back in 2018 federal charges were filed against Roggio, which led to raids at both of his homes in Stroudsburg.

He was accused of illegally exporting weapons parts to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

One of Roggio’s long-time friends says he was surprised to hear of Roggio’s new charges Friday morning.

“If you knew him and the things that he would do for people and everything. You just couldn’t imagine that anything, like they’re accusing him of doing, would ever have happened,” said Kevin Forrest.

According to court records, Roggio pleads not guilty to the charges on Thursday. If he is found guilty, he is sentenced to up to 705 years in prison.