Facebook helped track down alleged sex offender from the ’90s
ATLANTIC COUNTY — In 1999, prosecutors say, Israel Ramos sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl. A year later, he had firearm and assault charges filed against him in a case involving his then-girlfriend. But he was nowhere to be found.
That is no longer true. On April 5, NJ.com reports, Ramos was arrested in Philadelphia and, following a tense period in which investigators were not sure whether he would be sprung on bail. He has now been extradited to New Jersey to face those long-ago charges.
Detective Anthony Branca "diligently led the investigation," working with agencies across several states, the Atlantic County Sheriff's Office said.
When Ramos was located and arrested, it said, "he attempted to flee the scene but was apprehended by Detective Branca, along with members of the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, the New Jersey State Police and the Philadelphia Police."
Branca got Ramos' file in 2013, the NJ.com report said. But it wasn't until last year that he received a tip Ramos might be living under an alias with a woman in Pennsylvania, it said. Branca looked the woman up on Facebook and found a connection named Juan Vasquez-Perez. That man's pictures were analyzed by New Jersey State Police and found to be a 90 percent match to Ramos, the report said.
According to the Sheriff's office, Ramos had obtained a driver’s license and Social Security card with the alias Juan Vasquez-Perez, and was employed at the Advanced Auto Parts store in Philadelphia.