They find cause for the arrest of a man accused of murdering Michellyn Ramos Vargas

Judge Luis Padilla Galiano, of the Mayagüez Court, found today, Wednesday, cause for the arrest of Osvaldo Ferrer Martínez, known as “Choco”, for the murder of the transgender woman Michelle “Michellyn” Ramos Vargas in events that occurred on September 30, 2020 in San Germán.

The prosecutor in charge of the case, Jose Arocho, and the Mayagüez District Attorney of the Justice Department, Blanca Portela Martinez, confirmed the filing of charges against Ferrer Martínez, 37, and the imposition of a lump sum bail of $ 800,000 on charges of first degree murder, possession of a firearm, pointing and / or firing a firearm and possession of ammunition.

Ferrer Martínez did not pay bail, so he was admitted to prison again.

Judge Padilla Galiano imposed amounts of $ 200,000 for each charge. Ferrer Martínez, who was under supervised release using an electronic shackle as he was the subject of other cases at the state level, could be booked into jail tonight if he did not provide bail.

The body of Ramos Vargas, 33, who received multiple gunshot wounds to the face, was found in a pasture on highway PR-114 in the Sabana Grande neighborhood in San Germán. The pasture gave access to a path that led to a gate.

Prosecutor Arocho explained that the case was submitted through the sworn statement of a person who serves as a witness for the Public Ministry and whose information has led to the filing of murder charges in seven other cases registered in the Mayagüez area in recent years.

“This person who is a witness for the Public Ministry bought a firearm from the accused. Agents of the Police Bureau then they recovered said firearm and, After conducting expert tests by a firearms examiner, it was found that the bullet casings recovered at the scene were expelled from the occupied firearm. So we have the gun that was used to commit the crime“Arocho pointed out.

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Although the lawyer declined to go into details about how this person obtained possession of the weapon or if he was arrested as part of another crime, Arocho maintained that the cooperation of this person, both with the Police and with the Department of Justice, has led to the filing of charges in seven other murder cases (eight, including that of Ramos Vargas) in Mayagüez submitted on days 16 and 30 of September that, incidentally, helped dismantle a criminal organization that operated in the area.

“With the filing of charges in these eight cases, a gang of people who were dedicated to committing murders was dismantled, and among the cases was that of Michelle Ramos Vargas,” emphasized District Attorney Portela Martínez.

The defendant was free on federal probation

Prosecutor Arocho further confirmed that Ferrer Martínez, who lived in the El Carmen de Mayagüez residential complex where the victim also resided, was free on federal probation and was imprisoned while awaiting the start of two state-level judicial processes.

“The defendant has a prior criminal record, and despite being free on probation, he continued to commit criminal acts,” Arocho stressed.

Specifically, Ferrer Martínez was one of 28 people indicted by a federal grand jury, on July 7, 2010, of drug trafficking, conspiracy, possession with the intention to distribute pure and processed cocaine, possession and intention to distribute marijuana and the use of firearms in connection with narcotics crimes.

Ferrer Martínez pleaded guilty on April 18, 2011, to the charge of conspiracy after reaching an agreement with the federal prosecutor’s office. The Associate Judge Aida Delgado Colón Ferrer Martínez sentenced, on April 23, 2012, to nine years in prison (108 months) and eight years of supervised release.

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However, the federal prosecutor’s office submitted, on April 16, 2020, a motion for notification of supervised freedom violations by failing to report to his probation officer, within a period of 72 hours, that he had been questioned by the police for a Abandoned vehicle, which was in the name of Ferrer Martínez, and which was used to commit a murder in March 2020.

On May 13, 2021, the federal prosecutor’s office submitted another motion for violations of the conditions of supervised release by committing another crime at the federal and / or state level, for possessing controlled substances, for possessing a firearm and for six other violations. Associate Judge Delgado Colón issued an arrest warrant for Ferrer Martínez that same day.

Meanwhile, Ferrer Martínez was arrested on November 13, 2020, while leaving the Mayagüez Court, for driving a vehicle with a forged license plate. What’s more, the defendant was arrested again, on May 14, 2021, for pointing a firearm at agents of the Mayagüez Drug and Narcotics Division in an incident that occurred on May 11. Judge Padilla Galiano himself issued an arrest warrant for the incident. It was for this incident that he was already in jail.

For her part, the district attorney Portela Martínez added that “he was free until today, when the global bail of $ 800,000 was imposed for the murder of Ramos Vargas.”

“This is a case that the Department of Justice and the Mayagüez Prosecutor’s Office have given great importance to. We all know that various crimes have been committed against people from the LGBTTTIQ + community. This case has been under investigation since we arrived on the scene on September 30, 2020 and I have to acknowledge the work of the Mayagüez Police, under the supervision of the Lieutenant Aníbal Pérez (director of the Mayagüez Criminal Investigation Corps), and the work of agent (investigator) José Acevedo Olivencia, along with the resources that the Department of Justice and District Attorney Portela Martínez have provided us, ”emphasized Arocho.

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For her part, prosecutor Portela Martínez maintained that the possibility of carrying out more arrests for similar crimes is not ruled out.

“The success of criminal investigations in the area is due to the fact that the Mayagüez Homicide Division works as a team. The work carried out by all the agents, together, helps enormously because it allows to clarify cases more quickly and because there is collaboration between divisions. By uniting the prosecutor not only with the investigating agent, but with the entire unit, he becomes a strong team that is working on the clarification and filing of cases. This is also due to the fact that it has been possible to complete the investigations of this number of cases and to initiate the prosecution of these people ”, emphasized Portela Martínez.