Portland graffiti arrests reveal elaborate ghost gun operation

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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – The Portland Police Bureau says an investigation into two graffiti vandals uncovered a ghost gun operation.

Officers from the Central Precinct began investigating “chronic” graffiti offenders in Summer 2021. Two graffiti names PPB focused on were “THUJA” and “BIER,” found across downtown Portland and the Central Eastside Industrial District.

Investigators determined Shelaleh Rostami, 26, of Beaverton as “THUJA” and “LADY THUJA.” Police say a search warrant in January at her family home turned up 1,000 pieces of evidence.

“BIER” was identified as Jacob Ramos, 43, of Portland, through evidence seized at the Rostami residence.

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A search of Ramos’ home in April identified him as “BIER.” PPB says Ramos is also a convicted felon and 17 illegaly possessed firearms and body armor were found at his home, one of which was a non-serialized AR-15 style rifle.

Investigators say they also discovered a 3D printer, specialized jigs, power tools, raw components and scrap materials that were used to print several of the functioning, non-serialized, polymer and metal firearms.

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)

Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.

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