Indianapolis Man Pleads Guilty to Mailing Dead Rat to Hillsborough Resident
He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
TAMPA – An Indianapolis man has pleaded guilty in federal court to harassing a Hillsborough County resident and the victim’s family and friends, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Romney Christopher Ellis, 55, of Indianapolis, IN, pleaded guilty to making threats and mailing a dead animal using the U.S. Mail. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 30.
According to court documents, for the past four years, Ellis has engaged in a campaign of harassment against a victim residing in Hillsborough County through text messages, photographs, videos, and mailings. He threatened to decapitate and set the victim on fire, and he routinely made racially and sexually charged statements in the text messages, including sending sexually explicit images of himself.
At times, Ellis sent text messages stating that he had traveled from Indiana to Florida to see the victim. Ellis also used the U.S. Mail to harass the victim and the victim’s friends and family. On one occasion, Ellis mailed a package to the victim’s home containing a dead rat and black rose, officials said.
On Feb. 13, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ellis’s home in Indianapolis and recovered a handwritten note containing the names and addresses of the victim and the victim’s family and friends.
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