A man in Portland accused of being a prolific graffiti vandal allegedly used his spare time to produce illegal firearms known as “ghost guns” with a 3D printer and other manufacturing tools, according to court records and law enforcement officials.
Police officers found Jacob Ramos’ suspected ghost gun workshop after executing a search warrant at his home in the Lents neighborhood on April 11, as per a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.
Deputy District Attorney Michelle Thomas claimed that the 43-year-old suspect is the mastermind behind the “Bier” tag that police have been following across numerous Portland locations. According to the PPD, the search for the culprit behind the tags lasted for a year, and Ramos, who vandalized over a dozen locations in the city, was one of the most prolific spray-painters.
According to court documents, Ramos worked with an accomplice, 26-year-old Shelaleh Rostami from Beaverton. Rostami is accused of tagging buildings and other properties with the words “Thuja” and “Lady Thuja.” The pair targeted areas in downtown Portland and the Central Eastside Industrial District, where they also spray-painted over art murals.
Police said the investigation began last April after surveillance footage captured the pair vandalizing the wall of a DJ supply store downtown. A search warrant was obtained after police found an Instagram post with the tagged mural and an anti-police caption that read: “Gentrifying Murals = Police Graffiti Abatement = Controlled. Monitored & Censored Self Expression #ACAB.”
A subpoena of Instagram’s parent company Meta requesting the address behind the account ultimately led police to the Beaverton home. During the search of Ramos’ property, authorities discovered more than 60 cans of spray paint, paint-splattered respirators and a photograph of a vandalized building with the tag “Bier” on it as evidence.
In addition, investigators stumbled upon a stash of homemade firearms, gun parts and silencers, as well as the tools to create them, such as a 3D printer, drill press and metal jigs. The setup is likely for creating ghost guns, which are untraceable homemade firearms that lack registered serial numbers.
Ramos was indicted last week on over 70 criminal counts, including manufacturing a firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, and 60 counts of first- and second-degree criminal mischief. He was booked into jail on April 11 and was released the next day without paying bail. His arraignment took place on May 4.
Rostami, meanwhile, faces 15 counts each for first- and second-degree criminal mischief.
These arrests come amid a significant increase in graffiti vandalism across Portland, with police seeking to punish taggers for property damage.
In 2019, a man who spray-painted “Mook” in at least 100 locations across the city got two years in prison and was ordered to shell out $30,000 in restitution for his crimes.
Additionally, skateboarder Emile Laurent was charged in August last year with over two dozen counts of criminal mischief, causing more than $20,000 in damage to various locations belonging to the city of Portland, the Oregon Department of Transportation and private businesses. Laurent pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Oregon Democrats are currently pushing new legislation to punish the selling and possession of ghost guns, which if passed, will go into effect in September.