Ex-Sheriff's Clerk Sentenced To 1 Day In Prison For Tipping Off Gang About Raid

Former Allegheny County Sheriff's Office clerk Erika Romanowski pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.

Pittsburgh, PA – An Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office clerk will serve only one day behind bars for tipping off the targets of a drug raid and putting officers’ lives at risk.

Erika Romanowski, a former clerk for the sheriff’s department, was sentenced to only one day in prison and six months of home detention for tipping off gang members about an upcoming raid with a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) task force, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Prosecutors said that Romanowski, in her job at the sheriff’s office, was privy to details about an upcoming raid by the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on a violent gang called the Greenway Boy Killas.

The former clerk pleaded guilty to tipping off her friend Jewell Hall and his girlfriend, Joelle Harris, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Prosecutors said Romanowski was trying to protect Hall, a reputed gang ringleader.

She gave them information during a series of calls that ran from February through April of 2018, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

When she was eventually confronted by the FBI for the leaks, Romanowski lied about what she had done, according to an indictment released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania on July 25, 2018.

"This indictment alleges that Erika Romanowski violated the public trust by leaking sensitive law enforcement information she learned while employed at the Sheriff’s Office, and then falsely denied making the disclosure when questioned by the FBI," U.S. Attorney Scott Brady announced in a statement. "Every government employee with knowledge of a criminal investigation must maintain its confidentiality, whether or not they serve in a law enforcement capacity. Even more troubling, her actions could have jeopardized the safety of law enforcement officers. Corruption regardless of station will be prosecuted."

“Romanowski faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the obstruction of justice charge and a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the false statements charge,” the statement read.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Olshan said Romanowski’s actions “were borne of cold opportunism and, as she has admitted, a corrupt desire to help Hall evade federal law enforcement. In this regard, the defendant acted in real time to thwart the important and commendable work of her own colleagues to dismantle a notorious narcotics operation.”

Olshan said Romanowski knew that she was putting the people she worked with in danger when she tipped off the gang members about the raid, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

She pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in November of 2018, and the prosecutor asked the judge to sentence Romanowski to 18 to 24 months in prison.

But her attorney, Stanley Greenfield, argued that alerting all your friends to the presence of authorities in the neighborhood was customary in the community where Romanowski lives, and that she didn’t realize she was doing anything wrong when she called Hollis repeatedly to warn Hall, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

“It is important for the court to understand that in the culture of Ms. Romanowski’s community, it is common for friends and neighbors to make others aware of the presence of police, or investigators of any stripe, even in the absence of any specific knowledge as to why the police had come,” Greenfield wrote in court papers.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab on March 18 sentenced Romanowski to just one day in lockup, six months of home detention, and 100 hours of community service, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Hall and Hollis were charged in June of 2018 on various drug trafficking offenses, along with 14 other suspects affiliated with the Greenway Boy Killas, the Tarentum Valley News Dispatch reported.

Comments (40)
No. 1-34
JBo
JBo

“Romanowski faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the obstruction of justice charge and a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 for the false statements charge,”

Got one day, huh? That'll teach her!

chiefd
chiefd

That's bullshit. She should have at least gotten a ten to 20 year sentence.

PhillyBlue
PhillyBlue

Man 1 whole day, that'll make an example out of her... I guess since it's in the culture of her community to warn all the drug dealers when the police show up so they can get away then it's all good... what a joke

Trueferblue
Trueferblue

And to think I got two felonies, 5 years probation (instead of a possible 20 years sentence), $12,000.00 fines and restitution, and spent 5 months in jail for shooting a road rages vehicle 3 times with a fucking BB GUN!

AmyHaupert
AmyHaupert

“Her culture”. Wow. And people are still bitching about Trump wanting the wall. What about “our culture” where we abide by the laws of the land? BUILD IT!

Dfc3166
Dfc3166

And you wonder whats wrong with the system! This is a joke!

61mouse
61mouse

#MAGA2020

dlkoshuta
dlkoshuta

What complete BS! Call me cynical but I would think that when you get hired on to a Sheriff's Department, it just seems logical that you keep your stinking mouth shut about what you learn there. That sentence is a joke and I seriously hope they aren't going to term that a "deterrent". She needed some serious prison time for endangering those officers.

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

bet judge is a liberal demonrat..

goodgentnsc
goodgentnsc

So the judge and this attorney just made a case for the sheriff's department not hiring anyone from that community or cultural and in my mind if they didn't hire them it wouldn't be discrimination because they just basically said it's not safe to hire them !!

Skidoo
Skidoo

When Rep. Omar of Minnesota said those horrible things about President Trump and Jews, Nancy Pelosi jumped in front of bus for her by saying Omar's culture was a mitigating cause for her hateful words. The handwriting is on the wall for our culture and national identity.

Saints
Saints

REALLY ONE DAY IN PRISON FOR ALERTING CRIMINALS AFTER WORKING FOR THE DEPARTMENT!!??... WHY EVEN WASTE TIME WITH PAPER WORK AND PROCESSING THIS DUMB ASS....

Stanracer
Stanracer

Another bleeding heart, hug-a-thug, liberal judge hard a work. What a joke. Of course, she is female so.....well....you know.

Gretagarbo
Gretagarbo

Other people get way more time just for lying to the FBI. Why is she getting such a light sentence?

Dutchuncle
Dutchuncle

One day huh Well THAT should break her of THAT habit,,huh

Justice4us
Justice4us

Judge should be investigated next. This totally stinks.

tpdblu
tpdblu

Wow...one whole day

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

Typical. The “P” pass. Fuckin bitch. She could’ve put the lives of the agents as well as the local law enforcement in danger. And the excuse was that’s how her community acts? Alerting them when police is on the area? Fucking please. The lawyer was really reaching that time. And the soft hearted judge fell into the trap. Sad fucking place. A male suspect would’ve gotten 6 months to a year with all them fines imposed. This bitch didn’t even get hit with fines.

LynnSB
LynnSB

REALLY ????? This POS is a Clerk in the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office -- her attorney, Stanley Greenfield, argued that " alerting all your friends to the presence of authorities in the neighborhood was customary" in the community where Romanowski lives, and that "she didn’t realize she was doing anything wrong" when she called Hollis repeatedly to warn Hall ~~ HOw many people buy this BULL SHIT ?? Extremly Sad that the Judge did -- Wonder if he's taking MONEY for his rulings ?? And the Sheriff's Office Needs to SCREEN the People they Hire -- Obveously this POS should have NEVER been working there -- Her Actions could have Cost MANY people their LIVES !!! -- This just makes me sick !

T-III
T-III

This is very simply UNFORGIVABLE and the way this stupid traitor got off with a pat on the paw is UNBELIEVABLE! Don't these employees in sensitive positions sign a NDA? If not, they SHOULD -not that it matters, though, even bastards with TOPSEC clearances have betrayed their Country: a POS is a POS. This moron of a "judge" should've taken into consideration how long a burned investigation has taken, especially if a T3 was involved, AND the risk represented by having alerted scumbags that might have been prone to "welcome" Agents who believed that they had the element of surprise...

Woobie46
Woobie46

She is just scum...and WHO, other than a lover of thugs, would EVER believe she didn't know what she was doing...DAMN

joaquinradioman
joaquinradioman

For only one day....ridiculous...she put law enforcement in serious danger and must serve more than one day!!!!

Danimyl
Danimyl

Little wonder why Cities with he highest crime rates are controlled by Democrats. The Citizens elect left leaning politicians to run their Cities. They also elect left leaning Judges to preside over their Courts. The left leaning Judge imposes ridiculously low sentences to assure they are back on the street as quick as possible and the process can begin all over again.

Astow
Astow

She didn’t realize she was doing anything wrong?????? I say BULL SCHITT!!!!

amdguru
amdguru

Yet another example of how we as a society don't hold females accountable for their actions. I see this everyday in this country. Would a man have been given 1 day? The thing that puzzles me is the number of men in our country that just don't get this. Men are too busy thinking their job is to defend chicks.

Teijeiro2
Teijeiro2

OMG! What lunacy! To paraphrase my mother "So if everyone in the neighborhood jumped of the Empire State Building that means it's ok for you?" WHEN THE HELL DID 'everyone else does it" become a justifiable defense recognized by the judiciary? HUM, I wonder if the Judge got a little PAY DAY out of this sentence?

IsupportLEOs
IsupportLEOs

What a crock! I don't care what her community's "culture" is, if she's a Department employee, she knows how serious her offense was. When she was hired as a civilian employee, she probably had to sign a form acknowledging that she would not release confidential information. Her penalty should have been much more severe!

IsupportLEOs
IsupportLEOs

When you work for law enforcement as sworn or civilian, your culture is Blue.

artw44
artw44

She should be pulling down the max, this isn't even a slap on the wrist, and it's not just women wo aren't being sentenced. I knew something was wrong from the title of the article, "one day in prison", that is called Jail! You don't think for a minute she is going to a prison for a day do you? Would surprise me if they didn't let her out on "time served".

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

She didn't realize it was wrong to tip off her drug friends that the PD were about to raid their drug house????? This sentence is an embarrassment, and tells the public that releasing private information has 0 consequences.

Does that mean none of her community should be hired by the police ever, because it's acceptable to tip off the locals when a drug bust is going to occur? Or is that considered discrimination?

Mike bass
Mike bass

She should get life in prison

NFPD103
NFPD103

liberal judges bending to the will of idiot's because in the community of the USA we don't place law enforcement in danger by snitching them out. the only communities this occurs in are ones where criminal behavior is excepted as the normal way of life. while the rest of the citizens support the police. your block or section of town is not representative of the community

Grandmoi
Grandmoi

Guess what? American CULTURE is what counts here..you choose to put police in danger, you get serious prison time...according to this defense attorney, if your community approves of killing police officers, nobody who lives there should ever be arrested for murdering one...

Scattered
Scattered

She didn't tell the gang members and drug traffickers one time she did it over a couple months but she didn't know it was wrong? Everybody knows that's against the law but she didn't think telling was wrong? Why because her culture is drugs and gangs? Then why in the hell was she employed there in the first place? And the judge needs his ass fired for not taking it seriously, obviously LEO's don't mean much to him! This is really disgusting.