News and Press Releases

Ten Indicted in Operation Black Widow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 09, 2013
Contact: Ace Crawford
605-343-2913 ext. 2101

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced today that ten individuals have been arrested and indicted in federal court as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Operation Black Widow has been a multi-year investigation and has resulted in the following indictments:

Sean Jason Romanjenko, 39, of Deadwood: Charged with Felon in Possession of Firearm. If convicted, Romanjenko could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Tracy Kay Voss, 31, of Watertown: Charged with Making False Statements in the Acquisition of Firearms. If convicted, Voss could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Todd Karl Bramer, 46, of Watertown: Charged with Possession of Firearms by a Prohibited Person. If convicted, Bramer could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Robert Gray Graham, 72, of Watertown: Charged with Wire Fraud. If convicted, Graham could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both.

Eric Allen Block, 37, of Watertown: Charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Patricio Rodriguez Pena, 55, of Sioux Falls: Charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Robin Lee Engel, 41, of Watertown: Charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Christopher McDaniel Schmidt, 39, of Watertown: Charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Richard Donald Ruml, 42, of Watertown: Charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Chad Everic Haight, 40, of Watertown: Charged with conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

If convicted, Block, Pena, Engel, Schmidt, Ruml, and Haight could face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, maximum life, a $10 million fine, or both.

"Operation Black Widow is an extensive criminal investigation into a wide variety of alleged criminal activity, including illegal gun and drug trafficking. The Operation is led by the ATF with significant assistance from other law enforcement agencies including the Watertown Police Department, the Codington County Sheriff, the SD Division of Criminal Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration,” said U.S. Attorney Johnson.

Special Agent in Charge Scott Sweetow of the ATF St. Paul Field Division added, "This ongoing proactive investigation has resulted in the arrest of several individuals who have allegedly violated numerous federal and state laws, including violent crimes, in the state of South Dakota. ATF will continue to pursue those who pose a danger to our community.”

The charges contained in the indictments are merely accusations, and all of the individuals named are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Haak.

Pena, Block, Haight, and Romanjenko were detained. All other defendants were released on conditions.

 

 

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