Two men charged in murder over $550 unpaid drug debt
Two men with violent pasts are facing murder and kidnapping charges over an unpaid drug debt of $550, according to charging documents.
On Sunday, Nov. 3, Anchorage Police said a man was found dead in a vehicle on the 4000 block of Merrill Drive near the Spenard area. He was later identified as 48-year-old Oscar Garcia.
Now, 27-year-old Rhadames "Nino" Marmolejos Jr. and 23-year-old Elijah "Thug" Ramirez are facing multiple felony charges including kidnapping and first-degree murder.
Garcia was found in a 2012 Red KIA Soul by a person who called 911 to report the discovery. Police found the owner of the car who told them it had been taken by an individual identified in court documents by the initials M.C. and never returned.
APD found M.C. who told them Marmolejos called on the night of Nov. 2, looking for Garcia to settle a drug debt. M.C. drove the car to pick up Marmolejos and Ramirez, then the three found Garcia at a local hotel.
M.C. told police Garcia got into the passenger seat next to M.C., who was driving, and Marmolejos and Ramirez were in the back seat. M.C. said Garcia was not able to pay the money he owed, so Ramirez shot him multiple times from the back. Then, the witness told police Marmolejos and Ramirez instructed them to drive around at gunpoint with Garcia's body still in the passenger seat.
M.C. drove the vehicle to the 4000 block of Merrill Drive in Anchorage. M.C. stated that the three of them (M.C., Marmolejos, and [Ramirez]) exited the vehicle and Marmolejos and [Ramirez] escorted M.C. away from the vehicle. M.C. also stated that the two of them then stated to M.C. that it would be apparent that M.C. had been driving the vehicle that contained Garcia's remains; and as such, M.C. was a living witness to their crimes. They attempted to get M.C. to go into the woods with them, and one of them stated "you know what time it is." M.C. was afraid that M.C. was about to be killed, so M.C. fled the area and hid in a local restaurant until friends arrived.
According to court documents, when APD interviewed Marmolejos he confirmed he and Ramirez were in the vehicle and that Ramirez shot Garcia in the back multiple times. He also confirmed M.C. was the driver and witnessed the killing and that the murder was over a $550 drug debt.
Text messages between Marmolejos and Garcia of a "threatening nature" also reference the $550 debt.
At the time of the murder, Marmolejos was on federal supervision. He was sentenced to serve seven years after being convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy in federal court in 2013.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney's Office at the time, Marmolejos sold heroin to an undercover DEA agent on eight separate occasions. He was in possession of guns and drug paraphernalia at the time of his arrest and had previously "assaulted his victims while using both firearms and death threats."
Marmolejos' bail is set at $350,000 cash. Ramirez has not yet been arraigned on the charges he faces in Garcia's murder.
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