Local News

April 13, 2014

Accused killer had history of gang activity

Police working to stay on top of numerous gangs

Weeks before Orlando Ramirez was charged with murdering one bar security guard and wounding a second, a fellow member of the Hard Time Surenos gang was beat up in a fight at the bar.

That member, Delfino Ramirez, 19, is Orlando’s brother.

Dalton police said they’re investigating whether that fight is why 20-year-old Orlando Ramirez was at the Las Delicias nightclub on March 23 where he is accused of shooting two guards who wouldn’t let him inside because of his age. Police say Ramirez isn’t talking to them, and supposed witnesses to the earlier fight have remained quiet.

Ramirez has said there’s more to the story of how 28-year-old guard Bruno Rodriguez died than what’s been in news media reports, which are based mostly on information provided by police. Reached last week at the Whitfield County jail through a video conference visitation system, Ramirez smiled and spoke with a thick Hispanic accent. He said the reports haven’t accurately portrayed what happened, but he declined to elaborate and referred questions to his attorney, Chris Matthews of the Public Defender’s Office.

Matthews declined to comment on the case or discuss other more general aspects of Ramirez’s life. Public Defender Mike McCarthy said attorneys at the office have advised Ramirez not to speak with anyone outside of their presence.

Detective Chris Tucker, an investigator for the Conasauga Safe Streets Task Force which investigates gang activity inside the city limits of Dalton and Calhoun, as well as in Whitfield and Murray counties, said the Ramirez brothers have a history of gang participation.

Orlando Ramirez was last incarcerated at Ware State Prison. He was convicted in Whitfield County for crimes from Oct. 3, 2011, and Nov. 14, 2010, both related to gang participation in Whitfield County for tagging the Glenwood Avenue Kmart and for a role in a knifing incident, reports show. Tagging refers to painting gang-related graffiti on other people’s property.

Ramirez was sentenced to five years on the 2011 charges and 10 years on the 2010 charges. He was in prison only from March 8, 2012, to April 1, 2013, before being released on parole.

Tucker said Delfino Ramirez has also been in prison. Records show some of his crimes were committed on the same dates that got his brother in jail and that he was imprisoned on at least two gang participation charges in Whitfield County. He was imprisoned in March 2012 and released from Calhoun State Prison in January of this year, according to Georgia Department of Corrections information.

The beating at Las Delicias landed him in the hospital, Tucker said, and from there Ramirez was put back behind bars for violating conditions of his parole by being in a bar underage.

What the bar fight was about and who was involved remains under investigation. No arrests have been made.

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