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Graffiti investigation in Portland leads police to cache of guns


Ghost guns were among the guns discovered at the home of Jacob Ramos.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Along a graffiti-filled fence bordering Interstate 84 in Portland are the names ‘Thuja’ and ‘Bier.’  According to investigators, they are some of the most prolific taggers in all of the Rose City.

“These two taggers, tagging as ‘Bier’ and ‘Thuja,’ were out there in almost a declared war on murals,” said Portland police officer Nathan Kirby-Glatkowski.

Kirby-Glatkowski started investigating the two last summer. He eventually identified ‘Thuja’ as 26-year-old Shelaleh Rostami of Beaverton and ‘Bier’ as Jacob Ramos of Portland.

“I almost anticipated this being more of a younger crime in the hands of a teenager or something like that, but Ramos is 43,” Kirby-Glatkowski said.

Ramos lives in a home near Southeast 97th and Duke. Police raided it earlier this month.

“Saw the police roll up there and serve the warrant,” neighbor Justin Fountain said. “There wasn’t any loud noise or anything like that. Nothing crazy.”

‘Crazy’ best describes what was found inside Ramos’ home. In addition to plenty of tagging evidence, authorities said they discovered more than a dozen guns and what are called ghost guns.

“You can buy these components off the shelf,” Kirby-Glatkowski said. “Once you modify them and make changes to them they become functioning firearms and that’s what we saw there.”

KGW stopped by Ramos’ house for an explanation, but nobody came to the door to talk.

Kirby-Glatkowski said confiscating the weapons is a huge win for a police bureau dealing with a lot of gun violence. He said busting two alleged graffiti artists is just as rewarding because just maybe this will deter others from committing acts of vandalism around the city.

“Nobody wants the police to show up on their doorstep and raid their house with a search warrant,” Kirby-Glatkowski said. “Nobody wants dozens of felony counts brought against them.”

Ramos is facing more than 100 charges in the wake of the investigation. About half of those are felony charges.

Rostami is facing approximately 30 misdemeanor charges after police raided her Beaverton home and collected more than 1,000 pieces of evidence.

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