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Youngstown man met his accomplice weeks earlier

Will get at least 19 years in prison for armed robbery spree

YOUNGSTOWN — Edgar Ramirez, who will be sentenced today to at least 19 years in federal prison for a Youngstown-area armed robbery spree, met up with his accomplice only a couple of weeks before the spree began last year, Ramirez’s lawyers say.

Ramirez, 23, of Detroit Avenue, had moved to Youngstown at the beginning of December 2019 from Oregon. The robbery spree Ramirez and co-defendant Melvin Jackson, 19, of East LaClede Avenue, committed took place from Dec. 17-21, 2019, prosecutors say.

Jackson was sentenced last week to 16 years in prison for three robberies and two charges that allege a gun was used in a crime of violence.

Ramirez will be sentenced on three armed robberies and gun charges attached to each. Ramirez’s charges allege he used a gun while committing a crime of violence. His lawyers are asking for the lightest possible sentence.

Ramirez’s attorneys, told Judge Benita Y. Pearson in a sentencing memorandum that court documents indicate Ramirez committed two additional robberies for which he was not charged, but which could factor into his sentence.

Ramirez and Jackson were arrested shortly after the Jan. 20, 2020, robbery of the Dollar General store on Oak Street in Youngstown. Ramirez was thought to have participated in a Jan. 8 armed robbery also, his lawyers stated.

On Jan. 20, Jackson admitted to police that he had been part of seven armed robberies in Youngstown, Struthers and Boardman.

Ramirez’s sentencing memorandum states Ramirez was born in Newark, N.J, and moved around the country, including South Carolina, where he lived in foster homes after his mother’s boyfriend was caught selling drugs. Ramirez has no prior convictions before the robbery spree, the filing states.

While living in foster homes, Ramirez “witnessed violence and traumatic events” in facilities “dominated by gang members and kids on probation,” the filing states.

As a teen, he was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but he also had untreated dyslexia. He dropped out of school and went to live with his father in Oregon. He worked as a laborer while using drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. He had mental health issues including depression and heard voices, his lawyers stated.

He and his girlfriend had a son in 2018 and Ramirez quit methamphetamine. At the beginning of December 2019, he moved to Youngstown to live with his aunt with plans to have his girlfriend and son move to Youngstown with him.

But he met his cousin’s boyfriend, Jackson, shortly after arriving in Youngstown, the filing states.

The filing cites a federal court affidavit in alleging that Jackson “was involved in a number of robberies in the Youngstown area months before Edgar moved to Ohio.”

Jackson asked Ramirez to join him in committing robberies, but Ramirez declined until Jackson “later got Edgar drunk and high and was able to convince Edgar to come along,” the filing states.

Jackson “was the sole planner of each of these robberies in December 2019, picking the store to rob,” Ramirez’s lawyers allege.

Ramirez has experienced hallucinations in the Mahoning County jail since Jan. 20, 2020, hearing voices and seeing people who weren’t there and seeing bright, flashing lights, the filing states. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety, the filing states.

Documents connected with Jackson’s case indicate that he also has had mental health issues, telling a psychiatrist in 2017 while he was locked up in a juvenile facility that he suffered from anxiety, depression, and nightmares about dead people.

erunyan@tribtoday.com

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