Man sentenced for threatening, sending dead rat to ex-wife

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: This undated photo shows a rat in the a pipe in London. Ageing sewers, insufficient garbage collection, a lack of resources to tackle the problem: it all adds up to a growing rat population in London, one of the world’s wealthiest capital cities. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read /AFP via Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — An Indiana man has been sentenced to four years and 10 months in federal prison for threatening his ex-wife over several years and mailing a dead rat to her Florida home.

Romney Christopher Ellis, 57, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was sentenced Tuesday in Tampa federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in April to making interstate threats and mailing injurious articles.

According to a criminal complaint, Ellis had engaged in a four-year-long campaign of harassment against his ex-wife, who lives in Tampa, through text messages, photographs, videos and mailings. He threatened to decapitate and set her on fire, investigators said.

He routinely made racially and sexually charged statements in the text messages, including sending sexually explicit images of himself.

Ellis sent text messages stating that he had traveled from Indiana to Florida to see his ex-wife.

On one occasion, Ellis mailed a package to the victim’s home containing a dead rat and black rose.

Postal inspectors executed a search warrant at Ellis’s Indianapolis home in February.

Prosecutors said they recovered a handwritten note containing the names and addresses of his ex-wife, as well as her family and friends.

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