A Pasco man amassed seven new felony charges in less than two weeks after he was arrested in a vacant downtown building he called home.
Video evidence collected after Ramon Campos Aguilar was picked up on drug and stolen property charges led police to connect him to a February kidnapping and an assault with a machete in Kennewick earlier this year.
Aguilar, 37, appeared in courtrooms on both sides of the river Tuesday to enter pleas in two of the new cases.
He’s being held in the Benton County jail on $200,000 bail for the kidnapping case, along with $50,000 bail for allegedly trying to coerce a witness to lie about property seized in the downtown Pasco search.
Aguilar has a lengthy criminal history, including a 2007 conviction in U.S. District Court for being a felon in possession of a gun. He did 1 1/2 years in federal prison for the crime.
In March, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office gang team received an anonymous tip about a Feb. 10 assault. Aguilar soon became the focus of the investigation.
A second suspect, Carl K. Matheny, 45, was arrested Friday at a Finley home. Another suspect, Daniel Gomez, is not charged in the case.
Brandon Rodgers — the alleged victim in Aguilar’s later witness tampering case — told detectives that he had been outside his West 30th Avenue home in his truck with Arthur C. Hancock when Aguilar drove up.
Aguilar, Matheny and Gomez approached the truck and said they were looking for Hancock. Gomez allegedly was holding a tire iron.
Aguilar and Matheny attacked Hancock. Aguilar hit him with a machete he found in the back of Rodgers’ truck, court documents said.
Aguilar was ‘concerned the neighbors would hear Mr. Hancock being assaulted.’
Rodgers claimed he was forced to drive all five men away from the house because Aguilar was concerned the neighbors would hear the attack. Rodgers said he drove them around while Hancock was being assaulted.
Once back at Rodgers’ home, the assailants tied a rope around Hancock’s neck and dragged him out of the truck, across the yard and into the house, court documents said.
Home surveillance video, shows Hancock appeared unresponsive when he was dragged, but later he was limping and bleeding around the garage, documents said.
Aguilar “is clearly visible in the video inside the garage and is wearing clear rubber gloves on his hands,” the documents said.
Aguilar allegedly ordered Rodgers to turn over his DVR system with all video surveillance of the assault. Rodgers claimed that he did what he was told because he was afraid of Aguilar.
Aguilar, Matheny and Gomez took Hancock and left.
Hancock ended up at Kadlec Regional Medical Center, claiming he was hurt in a wreck in Finley but refusing to give any more information. His mother reportedly told medical staff her son was beat up with a machete, but she also wouldn’t give any details.
The officer noted that Hancock, 28, had extensive facial trauma and deep cuts to his right knee.
Hancock, 28, suffered extensive facial wounds and deep cuts to his right knee. He also had a head injury.
Detectives had been unable to find him since the mid-February incident. But on Monday, he was booked into the Clark County jail on a Benton County warrant for a heroin possession.
Aguilar was arrested March 5 on an unrelated Kennewick case. He allegedly had a gun and a machete, which investigators said was consistent with the one taken from the truck.
Deputy Jeremy Carrigan then learned in April that Aguilar was living at 403 W. Columbia St., a former commercial building near the Pasco Farmers Market, and had guns, drug paraphernalia and stolen property.
The sheriff’s office searched the property April 17 with help from the Tri-City Regional SWAT team and Pasco police after Aguilar was arrested leaving the building.
No one else was in the building, but investigators found methamphetamine, a loaded .357 revolver, a stolen Chevrolet Camaro, a stolen Kawasaki dirt bike and other stolen items totaling more than $15,000.
No one else was in the building, but investigators found methamphetamine, a loaded .357 revolver, a stolen Chevrolet Camaro, a stolen Kawasaki dirt bike and other stolen items totaling more than $15,000, documents said.
Aguilar is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with second-degree gun possession, possession of methamphetamine, first-degree possession of stolen property and possession of a stolen vehicle.
He posted $50,000 bail on April 20 and was released from the Franklin County jail. However, he was picked up the next day for allegedly visiting Rodgers’ home in an attempt to get him to change his story.
Some of the stolen property found in the Pasco building belongs to Rodgers, including a gun safe and the DVR system. His family had reported a burglary at their home while he was locked up from March 22 to April 14.
Prosecutors allege that once Aguilar was free, he told one of Rodgers’ relatives that “he was in a lot of trouble because the police raided his shop in Pasco.”
The relative refused to give Aguilar a phone number for Rodgers.
A neighbor who was worried for the relative’s safety, called 911, and police arrived in time to see a vehicle pull away that matched the one driven by Aguilar, documents said.
Aguilar is charged in Benton County Superior Court with tampering with a witness, and first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon.
He has pleaded innocent to all of his charges, and has trial dates in June and July.
Matheny is being held without bail in Benton County on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault. Prosecutors must file charges against him Wednesday or release him from custody.
Anyone with information on the assault and kidnapping is asked to call the Benton County Sheriff’s Office at 509-628-0333.