Ghost gun workshop uncovered during probe of Ore. prolific graffiti tagger
Portland police said Jacob Ramos fabricated illegal firearms in his downtime using a 3-D printer and other tools
By Shane Dixon Kavanaugh
PORTLAND, Ore. — A Portland man accused of prolific graffiti tagging also fabricated illegal firearms in his downtime using a 3-D printer and other tools, police and court records allege.
Police discovered Jacob Ramos’ alleged ghost gun workshop after they executed a search warrant at his Lents neighborhood home April 11, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Authorities said Monday that the suspected spray paint vandal left his mark on at least five dozen locations across Portland, making his arrest one of the biggest tagging busts in recent years.
Neither Ramos nor his attorney listed in court records, Shannon Kmetic, responded to a request for comment.
He and alleged accomplice Shelaleh Rostami had been under investigation by the Portland Police Bureau since last year, court documents show.
[RELATED: 5 things to know about ghost guns]
Police believe the 43-year-old Ramos is behind the tag “Bier,” “which law enforcement has been tracking across numerous locations throughout the city,” wrote Deputy District Attorney Michelle Thomas.
Rostami, a 26-year-old Beaverton resident, splashed the moniker “Thuja” and “Lady Thuja” across buildings and other property, according to investigators.
The pair focused largely on areas in downtown and the city’s Central Eastside Industrial District and at times defaced art murals that property owners had painted on walls, police said.
Authorities found paint-splattered respirators and more than 60 cans of spray paint inside Ramos’ car and Southeast 97th Avenue home, as well as a framed photograph of a vandalized building with the tag “Bier” scrawled across it, according to court records.
They also discovered an arsenal of homemade guns, gun parts and silencers and the tools to fabricate them, including a 3-D printer, drill press and metal jigs, court documents allege.
A grand jury last week indicted Ramos on more than 70 criminal counts, including 60 counts of first- and second-degree criminal mischief, 11 counts of manufacturing a firearm and felon in possession of a firearm, police said Monday.
He was booked into the Multnomah County jail April 11 and released the next day without having to post bail, according to court documents.
Ramos is scheduled to be arraigned May 4.
Rostami was indicted on 15 counts each for first- and second-degree criminal mischief, according to authorities.
She could not be reached for comment Monday. Her next court date is not listed in public records.
The arrests of Ramos and Rostami come amid a dramatic increase in graffiti vandalism across Portland that city officials and property owners have struggled to curb.
Prosecutions of the most prolific offenders remain few and far between.
In 2019, a Portland man who spraypainted his signature “Mook” in at least 100 locations across the city was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution.
And last August, prosecutors charged another suspected serial tagger, high profile skateboarder Emile Laurent, with more than two dozen counts of criminal mischief.
He is accused of causing more than $20,000 in damage to various locations owned by the city of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation, as well as several private businesses downtown and elsewhere.
Laurent has pleaded not guilty to all criminal counts. His next court hearing is scheduled for mid-May.
Meanwhile, Oregon Democrats in Salem are seeking to crack down on the sale and possession of ghost guns, which include any firearm without a registered serial number or other way to trace it.
If passed, those restrictions would take effect in September of next year.