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Woman Allegedly Used COVID-19 PPP Loan Funds To Finance Hit On Miami TSA Agent

Jasmine Martinez is accused of using a government-funded COVID-19 small business loan to pay Javon Carter $10,000 to kill Le'Shonte Jones, who was planning to testify against Martinez's former boyfriend.

By Dorian Geiger
Three Arrested In Murder of Florida TSA Agent

A Florida woman allegedly used pandemic-relief funds to finance a hit job on a Miami TSA agent who was gunned down in broad daylight in front of her 3-year-old daughter last year.

Jasmine Martinez, 33, her boyfriend, Romiel Robinson, 35, and suspected shooter, Javon Carter, 29, were arrested on Friday in last spring’s slaying of Le’Shonte Jones. 

Jones, 24, was fatally shot outside her Miami apartment building by a masked gunman on May 3 after she got home from her job at Miami International Airport. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Miami Dade Police Department. Her 3-year-old daughter, who was also injured in the shooting, was taken to hospital in stable condition.

The shooting, which was captured by surveillance cameras, showed a masked shooter clad in a black hoodie pointing a pistol and firing multiple shots in Jones’ direction. The suspect later fled in a dark-colored Gray 2019 Nissan Sentra sedan. 

Leshonte Jones Fb

Investigators now say Martinez paid Carter for the hit on Jones using federal small business coronavirus relief funds, according to a warrant in the cases obtained by Oxygen.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 15,000 loan on April 1, in order to make payroll at her beauty salon. It's the only loan under that name in that time period and location.) The funds landed in her Bank of America account, according to court documents and she allegedly withdrew $10,000 days before Jones’ killing.

“Jasmine obtained a large sum of U.S. currency totaling over $10,000 in the days preceding the homicide of Jones,” charging documents alleged. “Jasmine and Carter are in the area utilizing the same cellular tower less than two hours after the homicide.”

Police, who later seized Carter’s phone, found a video he’d filmed the day of the shooting depicting himself counting a stack of cash. “Just another day at the office,” he allegedly stated in the recording. 

Romiel Robinson Jasmine Martinez Javon Carter Pd

Other phone records further linked the three suspects to the murder conspiracy, investigators said.

Robinson, who allegedly approached Carter from jail on Martinez’s behalf to orchestrate Jones’ assassination, spoke in an alleged code with the suspected shooter regarding the price of the hit job. According to charging documents, he referred to the $10,000 price tag as a “number 10 jersey” during a telephone call with Carter on April 26.

“Romiel Robinson asks if he can get the number 10 jersey,” an arrest warrant stated. “Carter responds that it is usually 20 to 25. Romiel Robinson says that they don’t have all that on deck. Carter says that he is stepping out of his lane for them.”

Jones had reportedly dated Martinez’s ex-boyfriend five years before her murder, according to authorities. In 2016, Martinez was taken into police custody on battery charges for hitting Jones in the face; the case, however, was ultimately thrown out. In 2018, Martinez was again arrested 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 allegedly had previously offered Jones money to not testify against Nelson and Queen, charging documents state. Investigators now suspect Jones was killed after refusing the alleged bribe and giving a deposition against Nelson and Queen approximately a month prior to her killing. Police said Jones had been repeatedly intimidated and harassed by Martinez leading up to her death. 

Martinez also allegedly made multiple statements which authorities intercepted indicating she wanted Jones dead. During a jail call with Nelson — after he told her he'd been injured in an altercation while incarcerated on the 2020 charges — Martinez allegedly said she’s “ready to kill this hoe,” referring to Jones, charging documents show.

Jones worked as a transportation security officer at Miami International Airport. She’d 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 was still in custody of St. Lucie County authorities, according to online jail records.

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