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Cayuga Nation Demolishes Uninhabitable Structures on Two Nation-Owned Properties

The Cayuga Nation today carried out the demolition of three dilapidated and vacant structures on two separate properties owned by the Cayuga Nation. ​

The Nation took action to remove safe havens long used by criminals, including convicted felon Marcus Redeye. Both demolitions were conducted under the supervision of Cayuga Nation Police and pursuant to demolition orders. The two properties, 4 Briarwood Circle in Seneca Falls and 2906 County Road 124 in the Town of Varick, attracted various forms of criminal activity and posed significant safety hazards to the community at large. Recently, local governments received multiple complaints about the actions conducted by this group of criminals from concerned residents. In the absence of action by local authorities to address criminals in the community, the Nation took action to protect its properties and the community at large.

“Marcus Redeye is not a Cayuga citizen nor is he a member of any Indian nation anywhere in the United States.  Rather, he is a Canadian citizen who claims to be a member of a Canadian ‘first nation,’” said leader of the Cayuga Nation, Clint Halftown. “He is an out-of-towner who has plagued the area with his criminal activities, including most recently illegally selling marijuana off a front lawn on East Bayard Street in Seneca Falls and chasing a farmer off Cayuga Nation farmland while brandishing a weapon.”

Varick Property

The Cayuga Nation purchased the Varick property in September 2008 for the benefit of the Nation and for use as executive and visitor lodging. Subsequently, a group illegally took possession and turned it into a haven for trespassing and various forms of illegal activity. The gutted Varick house has notoriously been a site for out-of-town criminals to reside, despite the building’s unsafe conditions and without the authorization of the Cayuga Nation. In 2015, it was the site of Marcus Redeye’s 2015 shooting of a man in the back with a shotgun. Redeye has recently been seen at the properties brandishing firearms and operating an illegal business in town.

Since falling into disrepair, the Varick house has been an eyesore and an unsafe, uninhabitable property. At present, there are no individuals lawfully leasing or inhabiting the property as confirmed for multiple days by Police inspections.

The Cayuga Nation’s Building Code Officer determined the Varick house was uninhabitable, with several rooms gutted to the studs. The Building Code Officer then issued an order confirming the property was uninhabitable and ordering its demolition. After ensuring that the residence was unoccupied, a team demolished a house and barn pursuant to the order.

The Cayuga Nation plans to clean up the property.

“The demolition of the Varick house clears an eyesore from this community,” said Cayuga Nation leader Clint Halftown. “The Varick house demolition was a necessary, routine operation for uninhabitable, run-down properties. Demolishing this long-time eyesore is a step forward for the safety of our entire community. We look forward to cleaning up this property and consider it for a use that will benefit the Nation’s citizens.”

“The CNPD’s number one goal is safety,” said Mark Lincoln, Superintendent of Police for the Cayuga Nation Police Department. “Our officers ensured no one was inside the house or on the property at the time of demolition, and we continue to prioritize the safety of our community at large during all police operations.”

No federal funds were used in the purchase or upkeep of the Varick property.

Briarwood Circle Property

The Cayuga Nation, under Federal Representative Clint Halftown and the Nation Council’s leadership, purchased the property in 2010 for the benefit of the Nation’s citizens. In 2013, the Nation leased the residential property to a Nation citizen who abandoned the property eight months later. Over time, the home became a local gathering place for squatters. The house’s condition worsened over time to the point that the squatters, too, vacated the premises. Poor conditions included black toxic mold.

“The demolition of this property is long overdue,” said Cayuga Nation leader Clint Halftown. “Today’s action is important for the health and safety of our community at large, and I am glad to finally take care of this uninhabitable property once and for all.”

The home was confirmed to be vacant prior to the beginning of the demolition. The Cayuga Nation Police Department assisted contractors in securing the premises and overseeing the safe and swift demolition of the Briarwood Circle home.

“This property has been abandoned for years,” said Superintendent of Police Mark Lincoln. “Our mission is to maintain the health and safety of this community, and demolishing the abandoned, run-down Briarwood property was the to the right thing to do to better our neighborhoods.”

No federal funds were used in the purchase or upkeep of the Briarwood property.

About the Cayuga Nation
The Cayuga Nation (Nation) is a federally recognized sovereign Indian nation established in 1794 by the Treaty of Canandaigua. The Nation’s sovereign and federally protected 64,015-acre reservation is located in Seneca and Cayuga Counties in the State of New York. The Cayuga Nation Council, led by Clint Halftown, Tim Twoguns, Gary Wheeler, Donald Jimerson and Michael Barringer, serves as the official governing body for the entire Nation. With more than 500 members across the country, the Cayuga Nation and its leadership provide national benefits to Cayuga Nation members, including financial support, cultural enrichment opportunities, food distribution and community events, among other benefits. These activities have allowed Cayuga Nation citizens to return to their homeland with an opportunity for housing and employment, which helps preserve the Cayuga Nation’s culture.