TAMPA, Fla. – An Indiana man faces up to five years in federal prison for mailing a dead rat to his ex-wife’s Florida home, along with other threats and harassment over several years.
According to the United State’s Attorney’s Office Middle District of Florida, Romney Christopher Ellis, 55, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to making threats and mailing a dead animal using the United States mail. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.
According to court documents, for the past four years, Ellis has engaged in a campaign of harassment against the victim residing in Hillsborough County, Florida, 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.
On one occasion, Ellis mailed a package to the victim’s home containing a dead rat and black rose.
On February 13, 2020, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ellis’s home in Indianapolis and found a handwritten note containing the names and addresses of the victim and the victim’s family and friends.
His sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 30, 2020.