A Florida woman reportedly used pandemic relief funds to fund a blockbuster job on a Miami TSA agent who was shot dead in broad daylight in front of her 3-year-old daughter last year.
Jasmine Martinez, 33, her boyfriend, Romiel Robinson, 35, and the alleged shooter, Javon Carter, 29, were stopped Friday in the murder of Le’Shonte Jones last spring.
Jones, 24, was shot outside her apartment building in Miami by a masked gunman on May 3 after returning from work at Miami International Airport. Jones was pronounced died at the scene, according to the Miami Dade Police Department. Her 3-year-old daughter, also injured in the shooting, was taken to hospital in stable condition.
The shooting, which was captured by surveillance cameras, showed a masked gunman wearing a black hoodie pointing a gun and cooking several shots in the direction of Jones. The suspect then fled in a dark gray 2019 Nissan Sentra sedan.
Investigators now say Martinez paid Carter for the hit on Jones using federal coronavirus relief funds for small businesses, according to a warrant in the cases obtained by Oxygene.com.
On April 20, detectives say Martinez received a $15,000 direct deposit from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. (A database of PPP loans maintained by ProPublica shows that a Jasmine Martinez in Miami was approved for a loan of 15,000 on April 1 to pay for her beauty salon. It is the only loan under that name at this time and location.) The funds landed in her Bank of America account, according to court documents, and she withdrew $10,000 days before Jones was murdered.
“Jasmine obtained a large sum of US currency totaling over $10,000 in the days leading up to Jones’ homicide,” according to charging documents. “Jasmine and Carter are in the area using the same cell tower less than two hours after the homicide.”
Police, who later seized Carter’s phone, found video he had taken the day of the shooting showing him counting a stack of cash. “Just another day at the office,” he reportedly said in the recording.
Other phone records further linked the three suspects to the murder plot, investigators said.
Robinson, who allegedly approached Carter from prison on Martinez’s behalf to orchestrate the assassination of Jones, spoke in alleged code with the alleged shooter regarding the price of the hit job. According to the charging documents, he referred to the $10,000 prize as the “number 10 jersey” during a phone call with Carter on April 26.
“Romiel Robinson is asking if he can get the number 10 jersey,” a warrant said. “Carter says it’s usually 20 to 25. Romiel Robinson says they don’t have all that on deck. Carter says he’s going out of his way for them.
Jones allegedly dated Martinez’s ex-boyfriend five years before his murder, authorities say. In 2016, Martinez was taken into custody for aggravated assault for punching Jones in the face; the case, however, was ultimately dismissed. In 2018, Martinez was arrested again for assaulting Jones.
In 2020, Martinez’s ex-boyfriend Kelly Nelson and Keyanu Queen were charged with attacking Jones after a court hearing on charges stemming from the 2018 incident, according to court documents.
The case against Nelson and Queen is currently pending.
Martinez is said to have already offered money to Jones not to testify against Nelson and Queen, according to the charging documents. Investigators now suspect Jones was killed after refusing the alleged bribe and filing a statement against Nelson and Queen about a month before her murder. Police say Jones was repeatedly bullied and harassed by Martinez before her death.
Martinez also allegedly made several statements that authorities intercepted indicating that she wanted Jones dead. During a jail call with Nelson – after he told her he was injured in an altercation while incarcerated on the 2020 charges – Martinez reportedly said she was “ready to kill that hoe,” referring to Jones, according to charging documents.
Jones worked as a transportation security officer at Miami International Airport. She had been hired by the Transportation Security Administration in February 2019, officials said.
Robinson and Carter have arraignments scheduled for Feb. 24. As of Thursday, Martinez remains in the custody of St. Lucie County authorities, according to jail records online.
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