Six face murder charges in Aurora organized crime investigation

Aurora police officials announced Wednesday that six people have been charged with murder in a two-year, multi-jurisdictional investigation into organized crime.

The Regional Anti-Violence Enforcement Network on Tuesday arrested seven of 12 suspects discovered in the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act investigation, with all but one suspect charged with violent crimes, according to an Aurora Police Department news release. Three of the suspects already were in custody on other charges. One person remains at large and one person barricaded himself in his residence before taking his own life Tuesday.

Officials believe all of the suspects belong to the same criminal organization.

Luis Ramirez, 23; Dominik Ramirez, 21; Jonathan Ramirez, 18; Jason Frias, 19; Keyandre Robinson, 21; and Trayvon Weatherspoon, 19, were arrested Tuesday. Julian Nava-Hernadez, 18; Juan Carlos Rivas-Luna, 18, and Jose Cano-Venzor, 19, already were in jail. Donald Howard, 18, was not located during Tuesday’s operation and remains at large.

Early Tuesday morning, authorities served search warrants at five locations in Aurora and one in Denver. SWAT teams from the Aurora Police Department, Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office and Denver Police Department took the suspects into custody.

All suspects combined collectively face more than 300 criminal charges, according to the release.

Nava-Hernandez, Luis Ramirez, Dominik Ramirez, Jonathan Ramirez, Rivas-Luna, and Weatherspoon each face two counts of first-degree murder. Those charges stem from two separate cases.

Rivas-Luna was arrested in June as a suspect in a fatal road rage shooting in the 1000 block of Hanover Street. The shooting happened shortly before 9:55 p.m. June 5 in Aurora’s Dayton Triangle neighborhood. The victim, Stephen Dennis Qualls, 48, of Denver, had pulled up alongside a vehicle that was “driving erratically” and rolled down his window. He was shot in the chest and later died at the hospital.

Police on Wednesday did not release information on the additional murder. The suspects have been charged and will be prosecuted in Arapahoe District Court.

“The effectiveness of the RAVEN Task Force in countering violent crime stems from its methodical and scientific strategy in pinpointing and prioritizing the exceedingly active and dangerous offenders that impact our communities,” RAVEN Task Force Commander Mike Gaskill stated in the release. “This accomplishment is magnified by the cooperation demonstrated by the task force’s partner agencies, enabling RAVEN to systematically dismantle violent criminal enterprises like Blitz Gang Official. The real praise goes to the hardworking investigators and analysts of RAVEN, whose commitment is unwavering to keep our communities safe.”

In addition to the arrests, task force officers seized two fully automatic AR-15 rifles, a Draco AK-47-style assault pistol, two silencers and nine handguns, including two featuring “switches” or “auto-sears,” which are illegal devices used to convert a semi-automatic handgun into a fully automatic one, according to the news release.

Anyone with any information about Howard, or on his whereabouts, is asked to call 911 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).

Sign up to get crime news sent straight to your inbox each day.

Source: Read Full Article