Leader of an armed gang acting in Kurgan Region in 2006-2016 sentenced

The evidence collected by the Kurgan Regional Investigations Directorate of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation was found by the court to be sufficient to sentence Dmitry Romanov - the leader of the gang performing criminal activities in Kurgan Region in 2006-2016. Romanov is presently serving a sentence for a robbery attack committed in Shadrinsk in 2015 and for theft of expensive cars. Depending on their involvement the members of the gang were accused of a number of especially grave offences: five murders; one attempted murder attended by kidnapping; robbery attacks and extortion; illegal storage of firearms; theft of transport. In March of this year another active gang member Alexander Afanasyev was sentenced to 19 years of imprisonment in strict regime penal colony for earlier committed offences. Hearing of probes into other five gang members continues.

As reported earlier, the gang was created by Dmitry Romanov in Kurgan Region in 2006. It included his acquaintance Kirill Ermolaev and Alexander Afanacyev he met serving a prison sentence. The gang was aimed for systematical attacking entrepreneurs and wealthy citizens, seizing their property and murdering them. In summer of 2016 Romanov, Ermolaev and Afanasyev were detained by law enforcement officers for theft of expensive cars in Kurgan and Tyumen Regions, the activities of the gang were halted and all the severe and especially severe offences committed by it remained unsolved.

However, in 2020 due to systematic activities of solving past years crimes using modern forensic methods on one of pieces of material evidence collected in the beginning of 2021 on site of discovery of a body of an entrepreneur Alexander Druzhkov in a garage it was possible to identify genotype belonging to Kirill Ermolaev. Investigation established that in the evening of December 6, 2021 upon arrival from work Druzhkov walked out of his car towards his house but didn't arrive there. Later it was established that on that moment three gang members (Romanov, Afanasyev and Ermolaev) were present in his yard. The perpetrators dressed in police uniforms mistook the man for his brother, a successful entrepreneur, tricked him into a car in handcuffs, and drove him to abandoned garages. After failed attempt to extort money the accused committed a murder of the man with a hammer. 1.5 months later the victim's body was accidentally found by local residents.

During longterm investigative activities Afanasyev disclosed a number of other especially grave offences against person committed by Romanov's gang in 2006-2015 in Kurgan and Sverdlovsk Regions including those commited with use of firearms. Apart form that Afanasyev indicated clandestine of a body of entrepreneur Vaganov who the gang members murdered in Sverdlovsk Region in 2011.

The gang leader Dmitry Romanov also confessed and disclosed a number of other impudent attacks. Romanov disclosed clandestine of a body of entrepreneur Andrey Mashin murdered by gang members in 2008 in Kurgan.

Apart from that during investigation the gang members disclosed a murder of Kurgan resident Zadriboroda aimed to seize his three-bedroom apartment and theft of expensive cars in Kurgan Region in 2014-2016 that had been unsolved for a long time.

During investigation the members of investigative and operative team including forensic investigators of the Department of forensic support of investigation (in Yekaterinburg) of the Main Forensics Directorate (Forensic Centre) of the Investigative Committee of Russia performed a significant number of investigative activities aimed for discovery of victims' bodies in Kurgan and Sverdlovsk Regions. Over 70 examinations including complex medical and molecular genetic have been conducted in order to establish causes of deaths and identify the victims of the gang.

The court sentenced the gang leader Dmitry Romanov to 24 years of imprisonment in a strict regime penal colony.