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Two Plead Guilty in STT District Court Cases

Two men pleaded guilty Monday to charges in separate cases in St. Thomas District Court.

Rudy Cook, 51, of St. Thomas, pleaded guilty before District Court Judge Curtis V. Gomez to two counts of calling in bomb threats, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

According to court documents, on or around Sept. 18, Cook called in a bomb threat to the Ritz Carlton Hotel on St. Thomas stating that three bombs planted at the hotel would explode at noon. On that same day Cook made a 911 call stating that there were bombs located at the Ritz Carlton that would explode and kill a lot of people.

Cook faces a maximum sentence of 10 year in prison and a maximum period of supervised release of three years. In addition, Cook faces a maximum fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for July 11.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard E. Potter.

Edgar Ramirez, also known as Rodolfo O. Salinas, 36, pleaded guilty Monday to falsely claiming U.S. citizenship, Shappert said in a news release.

According to a plea agreement filed with the court, on Dec. 20, Ramirez presented himself for inspection to Customs and Border Protection Officers at the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas while attempting to board Delta Airlines flight No. 307 to Atlanta. During primary inspection, Ramirez presented a Pennsylvania identification card bearing the name Rodolfo Salinas to the CBP Officer. During questioning, Ramirez also stated that he was a citizen of the United States.

Ramirez was referred to secondary inspection, where he also stated that he was a U.S. citizen who was born in Texas. After waiving his Mirandarights, Ramirez stated that he was born in Mexico with dual citizenship in Mexico and Guatemala.

Ramirez stated that in 2001 he paid $2,000 to cross the border into the United States and has been living in the United States ever since. Ramirez admitted that he told the CBP Officers that he was a U.S. citizen.

Ramirez faces a three-year period of incarceration and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is set for June 11.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim L. Chisholm.

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