GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Former Johnson City business owner Sean Williams has been identified as the “Robert Voe” in a federal lawsuit against Johnson City police and the city, two weeks after being arrested on separate charges in North Carolina.
Williams, who was on the run for nearly two years after police tried to serve a federal indictment on him, is the central figure in a suit former U.S. Attorney Kateri “Kat” Dahl filed against the JCPD, now retired Chief Karl Turner and the city in late June 2022. His name was redacted in that suit because the April 2021 indictment charging him with being felon in possession of ammunition — taken out by Dahl — was under seal until last week.
Williams was arraigned on the weapons charges in federal court Tuesday and is now in federal custody with trial set for Aug. 22. The indictment was unsealed Tuesday afternoon, and on Thursday Dahl’s attorneys filed a motion in her civil lawsuit requesting that his identity as “Robert Voe” be revealed. The judge approved that unsealing late Friday.
Dahl served a couple years as a special prosecutor working with the JCPD on certain serious crimes for which federal charges could result in stiffer sentences. Her suit alleges that after she was brought into Williams’s case, she discovered that he was alleged to have been a major drug dealer and allegedly committed multiple sexual assaults.
As Dahl was building a weapons and potential drug trafficking case against Williams, the suit says, she “gathered substantial evidence” that he “had not just been dealing drugs, but was credibly accused of raping multiple women…”
The suit claims Dahl eventually began questioning the JCPD’s work on the case. It says she was concerned about the JCPD’s investigation of Williams, including not getting a search warrant for his downtown garage, “where he was known to socialize, show off his sports cars, and keep some of his belongings.”
Less than three months after Dahl got the indictment on Williams, she was told in late June 2021 the JCPD would not renew the annual agreement through which she performed her work. She filed her suit not quite a year later.
Williams remained on the run for nearly another year after the lawsuit was filed.
Possession of firearms or ammunition by a felon is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.