Thursday, March 1, 2007
RIP "Rick the Ruler"
It has been almost ten years since the death of Enrique "Rick the Ruler" Ramirez, a Los Solidos Gang leader. But as the recent photo above demonstrates Rick may be gone, but not forgotten.
It was the annual Puerto Rican Day Festival in Pope Park, Hartford, Connecticut that started a series of events that are still unfolding ten years later. Gang members murdering other gang members, federal law enforcement feuding with state law enforcement and many, many people left asunder in the wake of the murder of "Rick the Ruler." Hartford Homicide Detectives disciplined, fired. Federal agents ordered not to investigate Hartford Police misconduct. Lawsuits all around.
June 5, 1997 was a sunny warm day. Hundreds of party goers flocked to Pope Park for the festival, including a good amount of gang members and police officers. Rick was an enforcer for the "Solids" as they affectionately called each other. He was a prick, drunk and bully. And at the end of this festive day, he was dead. Murdered by his own gang. As Robert De Niro who plays Michael Vronsky is famous for saying in the movie, The Deer Hunter "one shot." That's all it took to murder Rick. One shot in the back and this tough guy was dead.
The feds informant, Abdel "Conejo" Rodriguez tipped them off immediately that he knew who shot Rick. He wore a wire for his handlers, he got the killer to admit that he, "went all out for [his]colors." Julio Ramos, a Los Solidos, spilled his guts to Conejo and in turn the feds. He gave up the location of the murder weapon, and shot his mouth off in detail about the murder. He didn't ever explain why he did it. No one asked. Julio Ramos , is now serving a 25 year federal sentence for the murder.
He plead guilty to the murder at the same time Gilberto Rivera, a supposed "offtee" or wannabee of the gang was arrested by the Hartford Police and Hartford State's Attorney James Thomas. Rivera was a patsy for the state officials, ultimately released and awarded $600,000 for his false arrest and imprisonment.
End of story, all is safe in the Insurance City? Not quite.
While the Feds and state argued over who shot Rick, a very important piece of the puzzle was left unanswered. You see, no one gets assassinated in a gang without approval. Julio Ramos didn't wake up that day and decide he was going to murder a gang enforcer. Yet, absolutely no investigation into the genesis of this murder ever occurred.
Hmmm? Could it be that the Federal Authorities lead by Deputy United States Attorney John Durham didn't want to know what their informant "Conejo" really knew?
Was the Hartford Police and Hartford State's Attorney Thomas so bent on showing who was boss that they simply forgot to investigate this crucial part of the murder?
How ironic if FBI informant busting federal prosecutor John Durham actually had a murdering paid informant working for him.
Durham was the federal prosecutor who took down FBI agents in Boston for, among other things, allowing federal informants James "Whitey" Bulger and his Winter Hill Gang to carry out numerous murders and crimes under their watch.
Could Los Solidos leader and federal informant Conejo have ordered the assasination of the troublesome Rameriz?
Who do we get to investigate this one? Rest in Peace Rick.