September 25, 2013: Today, the Honorable Charles A. Ehrlich accepted an Open Guilty Plea from 44-year-old Daniel Ramos for straw purchasing a firearm for his convicted-felon brother and sentenced him on that case, as well as a PWID case for which he had already pleaded guilty and asked to be consolidated. Judge Ehrlich sentenced Ramos to 2 to 6 years incarceration, followed by 10 years of reporting probation.
On December 14, 2012, Juan Crespo was shot dead by police after Crespo pointed a gun at police officers when the officers were investigating a call for a man with a gun. After shooting Crespo, the officers struggled with him to get the firearm out of his hands. The gun Crespo was holding was a 9mm Taurus that was traced back to Daniel Ramos.
The Attorney General and District Attorney’s Gun Violence Task Force (GVTF) determined that firearm had originally been purchased by Ramos on August 4, 2009, in Philadelphia. It was also determined that Daniel Ramos had purchased a total of five (5) firearms between 1990 and 2012.
On December 12, 2012, Daniel Ramos was arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute (PWID). After the time of his arrest police found 138 Alprazolam pills, over 20 grams of crack cocaine, cash and an unloaded 12 gauge shotgun in the basement of the stash house where he was operating. On January 3, 2013, Ramos requested a bail reduction on his PWID case. Judge Patrick ordered that Ramos surrender all his firearms as a condition of bail. Ramos, together with his attorney, then met with agents from the GVTF and gave a statement explaining that he no longer had any of the firearms he originally purchased. Specifically:
9mm Ruger-purchased on 9/4/90: Ramos claimed the gun was stolen from him in Philadelphia, and he reported it stolen to the police, the GVTF could locate no record of such a report and the gun was not entered into NCIC.
9mm Smith & Wesson-purchased on 9/1/95 : Ramos claimed the gun was stolen from his residence in Philadelphia and he reported it stolen to police, the GVTF could locate no record of such a report and the gun was not entered into NCIC.
9mm Taurus-purchased on 10/15/2003: Ramos claimed the firearm was taken from him during a car stop, when Sheriffs served him with a Protection Order. The GVTF could find no record of the firearm being taken in a car stop, and noted that the firearm was never entered into NCIC or any other database to show it was being held by a law enforcement agency.
9mm Taurus (this is the firearm Crespo pointed at police)-purchased on 8/4/2009: Ramos claimed he left the firearm at his twin brother, Rafael Ramos’s house in Philadelphia. Daniel Ramos claimed the gun was reported stolen in a burglary of his brother’s house that his brother reported to police on April 15, 2012. It was determined that there was indeed a reported burglary at Rafael Ramos’s house, but that no one ever reported a firearm stolen in the burglary. The GVTF ran a criminal history for Rafael Ramos and determined that he was 6105 ineligible to possess a firearm due to his multiple prior convictions for PWID, and conviction for Burglary.
.40 caliber glock-purchased on 11/13/2009: Ramos explained that police took possession of the firearm when they responded to a domestic disturbance on January 12, 2012. The GVTF verified that this gun was indeed taken by the police on that evening and entered on a property receipt.
On February 14, 2013, Rafael Ramos admitted that his brother bought him the 9mm Taurus and that he later sold that gun to someone on 2nd and Girard Streets. Rafael Ramos said he “didn’t know the person’s name, but knew the guy could not buy a gun because of his record.” Rafael Ramos is currently awaiting a jury trial scheduled in January 2014.
This case was successfully prosecuted by ADA JT Tartikoff of the Gun Violence Task Force, together with ADA A.J. Thomson.