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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Two Men Charged With Murder-For-Hire

Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced the unsealing of a federal indictment charging VANCE COLLINS, a/k/a “Big AK,” 50, and RAMON RAMIREZ, a/k/a “Obendy,” 48, with hiring a hitman to murder an individual believed to be having an affair with RAMIREZ’s wife.  COLLINS was arrested this morning in the Bronx and RAMIREZ was arrested this morning in Staten Island.  The target of their murder-for-hire plan was not killed.  Both defendants were presented this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Katharine H. Parker and detained.  The case has been assigned to United States District Judge P. Kevin Castel.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged in the indictment, Vance Collins and Ramon Ramirez put a price on another human’s life when they hired someone to kill a person believed to be having an affair with Ramirez’s spouse.  Thanks to the work of our remarkable law enforcement partners, Collins and Ramirez now stand charged in federal court for their alleged roles in this terrible crime.”

FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said:  “Murder-for-hire cases are more common than one might think, and the FBI has a number of investigative resources and federal laws we can tap into to help us prevent these potential crimes.  But the fact that the plan allegedly concocted by Collins and Ramirez was ultimately unsuccessful shouldn’t overshadow the gravity of this situation – the intent was the same, regardless of the outcome.”    

According to the allegations in the Indictment[1]:

In or about late 2017, COLLINS and RAMIREZ hired another person to murder a man believed to be having an affair with RAMIREZ’s wife, and conspired to carry out this murder-for-hire plot from 2017 through 2018, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1958 and 2.  Each charge in the two-count indictment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

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Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI Westchester County Safe Streets Task Force, which comprises agents and task force officers from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Probation Office, New York State Police, New York City Police Department, Mount Vernon Police Department, Yonkers Police Department, Greenburgh Police Department, Peekskill Police Department, Westchester County Police Department, and Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. 

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit and White Plains Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Christopher Brumwell and Celia V. Cohen are in charge of the prosecution.               


[1] As the introductory phase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 
Updated June 13, 2019