Chronic Graffiti Vandal Investigation Uncovers Ghost Gun Operation

April 24, 2023 15:28


In Summer 2021, in response to a request by Mayor and Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler, officers from the Central Precinct Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) began long-term graffiti investigations into chronic offenders. For the past several months, that attention has primarily focused on two graffiti vandals, “THUJA” and “BIER” due to an exceptionally large number of victims, many of which were art murals in both Downtown Portland and the Central Eastside Industrial District.

The investigation identified Shelaleh Rostami, 26, of Beaverton as “THUJA” and “LADY THUJA.” A search warrant was served at Rostami’s family residence in January 2023, where more than 1,000 pieces of evidence were seized. Based on this search warrant, Rostami’s tagging partner, “BIER”, was identified as Jacob Ramos, 43, of Portland.

In April 2023, Central NRT, along with members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Central Bike Squad, served a warrant at Ramos’ residence in East Portland. Evidence was located implicating Ramos, a convicted felon, as “BIER.” Additionally, 17 illegally possessed firearms and body armor were located in Ramos’ residence, one of which was a non-serialized short barrel AR-15 style rifle. Evidence at Ramos’ residence also revealed a gun manufacturing workshop consisting of a 3D printer, specialized jigs, power tools, raw components and scrap materials that were used to print and mill several of the functioning, non-serialized, polymer and metal firearms.

Investigators worked with Multnomah County Deputy District Attorneys from the Strategic Prosecution Unit (SPSU) to bring charges in this case. The Police Bureau would like to thank the deputy district attorneys for their hard work on these cases.

Ramos was indicted for the following charges:

Manufacturing a Firearm (11 counts)
Felon in Possession of a Firearm
Possession of a Short barrel Rifle
Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (10 counts)
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree (50 counts)

Rostami was indicted for the following charges:

Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (16 counts)
Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree (16 counts)

This investigation is ongoing.



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