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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Victim feared for family after gang threat

23:00 |

Police Chief Jamie Sullivan was asked Thursday if residents should be fearful or concerned in light of allegations against a documented Latin Kings gang member suspected of making threats in the community. "We believe we are staying on top of the (gang) issue," Sullivan said. "We take every action to ensure public safety, but if an individual or individuals have concerns, they can bring it to our attention."   Five Seacoast residents arrested on various drug charges following police raids at 7 I St. and 7 Perkins Ave. in Hampton and at 71 Washington St. in Seabrook. Marijuana, cocaine and weapons were seized. May 7: Two more residents of 7 Perkins Ave. arrested. James Wojtowicz was charged with felony criminal threatening and riot. Reinaldo "Chooki" Ruiz was arrested on drug charges. June 1: Affidavit for the search warrant police obtained to execute the May 4 raids is unsealed in U.S. District Court in Concord. June 20: Hampton Union reports about the affidavit on The affidavit says police believe Jimmy "Jayda" Ambrosi, who was arrested May 4, is a leader in the Latin Kings street gang. Police also say Ruiz is a member of the gang. June 30: Ruiz is charged with criminal threatening with the use of a deadly weapon and tampering with a witness and informant. July 11: Bail for Ruiz is set at $20,000 cash or corporate surety. Police said Reinaldo "Chooki" Ruiz, 24, sought out a local man he believed was a witness in a pending drug case against him and six other suspects. Police said Ruiz wanted to prevent the man from testifying in court. Ruiz was arrested in connection with the May 4 drug raids at Hampton Beach and Seabrook, and he now facing new charges he used a pistol to threaten a man he called a "snitch." The victim of the pistol threat came forward, police said, because he feared for his family's safety, saying Ruiz was an active member of the Latin Kings. Ruiz is listed as a documented member of the gang by the Lowell (Mass.) Police Department. Ruiz appeared Wednesday at the 10th Circuit Court in Seabrook for a probable-cause hearing on charges of criminal threatening with the use of a deadly weapon and tampering with a witness and informant. The hearing was continued to July 25 and a new bail was set at $20,000 cash or corporate surety. While defense argued for a lower bail, Judge Mark Weaver said $20,000 was as low as he can go because the nature of the charges are "pretty serious." Police said Ruiz was out on bail June 29, when he allegedly threatened a person Ruiz believed had provided information to police about the drug-dealing operation that led to the May 4 police raid. According to an affidavit filed by Hampton police Detective Christopher Gilroy, police heard from a source that Ruiz was in possession of a stolen firearm and was threatening a number of people following the drug raids. On June 29, police said, one of those victims came forward. The victim told police Ruiz showed up at his home and asked him about "smoking a blunt." The victim told police Ruiz raised his shirt and showed him what he believed was a semi-automatic pistol and called him a "snitch." According to court documents, the victim told police that later that night Ruiz and an "associate" hit him with an unidentified metal object as he rode past them on a moped. The May 4 raids at two homes in Hampton Beach and one in Seabrook, and the subsequent arrests, were the result of a yearlong investigation by multiple agencies into what police described as significant drug activity in the area. Search warrants were executed at about 8 a.m. Friday, at 7 I St. and 7 Perkins Ave. in Hampton and at 71 Washington St. in Seabrook. Authorities said they seized an unspecified amount of marijuana and cocaine from the three homes, along with several firearms, including one that was reported stolen. Arrested during the raids were Jimmy "Jayda" Ambrosi and Andrew Wojtowicz, 24; Vicki Powell, 31; James Neptune, 27; and David Briere, 28. According to the affidavit for a search warrant in the case, Hampton police believe Ambrosi had a leadership position with a local chapter of the Latin Kings, and if he didn't meet his drug-selling quota, he would suffer consequences. Ruiz was arrested May 7 on a warrant alleging possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Police said they intended to arrest Ruiz on May 4 but could not find him.

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