2 men federally charged in connection with shooting of MPD officer Brandon Baranowski plead guilty

MILWAUKEE — Two men federally charged in connection with the shooting of Milwaukee Police Officer Brandon Baranowski have pleaded guilty.

Emanuel Romo

Emanuel Romo

Emanuel Romo has pleaded guilty to one count of: knowingly making a false and fictitious written statement intended and likely to deceive The Shooter’s Shop as to a fact material to the lawfulness of the sale and disposition of such firearm.

The charge Romo has pleaded guilty to carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and $250,000 fine — plus a mandatory special assessment of $100 and a maximum term of three years of supervised release.

A second federal charge was dismissed.

Alonso Sandoval

Alonso Sandoval

Alonso Sandoval has pleaded guilty to one count of: knowingly possessing a firearm which, prior to his possession of it, had been transported in interstate commerce, the possession of which was therefore in and affecting commerce.

The charge Sandoval has pleaded guilty to carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years, and a $250,000 fine — plus a mandatory special assessment of $100 and up to three years supervised release.

A second federal charge has been dismissed.

Tomas Uriegas

Tomas Uriegas

Prosecutors say the gun used in the shooting of MPD Officer Brandon Baranowski traced back to Emanuel Romo. Prosecutors say Romo bought the gun for his cousin, Alonso Sandoval in 2014. Then they say Sandoval ended up selling it to someone else, eventually making its way to the shooter.

Baranowski was shot five times near 17th and Morgan in Milwaukee on Sunday, July 17th.

Police identified the shooter as 20-year-old Tomas Uriegas.

According to a federal indictment, Romo purchased the gun used in the shooting of Baranowski — a Ruger model SR 22, .22 caliber pistol¬†—¬†acquired in January of 2014 at The Shooters Shop in West Allis.

Officer Brandon Baranowski released from the hospital

Officer Brandon Baranowski released from the hospital

The indictment accuses Romo of stating on forms that he was the actual buyer of the firearm, when instead, Romo was acquiring the firearm for Sandoval.

According to police, Romo told authorities the gun was for Sandoval, who was with him and could not buy a gun for himself due to drug charges.

Sandoval told authorities he later sold the weapon to a man he worked with — someone he thought was a gang member.

Somehow, the firearm got into the hands of Uriegas, who used it to shoot a police officer.

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

Baranowski survived two shots to his arm, two that became lodged in his bullet-resistant vest, and another that grazed his forehead. Baranowski was seated alone in his patrol car when Uriegas approached on foot and fired a gun into the squad.

As officers were on scene investigating regarding the injured officer, they heard a single gun shot around 2:30 a.m. nearby. They then found Uriegas, who had suffered an apparent self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound to the head.

Uriegas was out on bond for a felony charge, and was using a gun he was not allowed to legally possess.

Milwaukee police and federal officials traced the firearm, leading to the federal charges against Romo and Sandoval.

MPD Officer Brandon Baranowski

MPD Officer Brandon Baranowski

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn released the following statement after it was announced these men would face federal charges:

“The excellent work of the MPD Intelligence Fusion Center along with the ATF Task Force in tracing this crime gun, will allow us to hold accountable the individuals indirectly responsible for wounding our officer. My hope is that serious federal charges will result in actual justice and deter others who attempt to arm criminals.”