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Crime News Breaking News

Utah Medical Marijuana 'Millionaire' Charged With Kidnapping, Assault

Salt Lake City police arrested a self-proclaimed medical marijuana millionaire on charges that he held a woman captive for weeks and assaulted her.

By Megan Carpentier
Man In Handcuffs G

A Utah man faces multiple felony charges after police responded to his home for a wellness check on a woman who said she was there and scared for her life.

Ramone Mauricio Martinez, 39, faces one count of aggravated kidnapping, five counts of aggravated assault and one count of assault, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the Salt Lake City District Courts on Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Police say that they went to Martinez's home, about 3 miles west of downtown Salt Lake City, on Wednesday after an unnamed person reported having received a text message from a friend who said she was "scared for her life" and begging that person for help, Fox News reported. 

Martinez met officers at his door holding a handgun concealed in the front pocket of his hoodie, Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL reported, at which point the police ordered him to place his hands up and Martinez complied.

Police then found the woman, who was not identified, who they said "had heavy bruising around both eyes," according to the probable cause affidavit. "She stated her ribs were hurting and that she had difficulty breathing."

The woman told police she'd been held at gun point by Martinez for "several weeks," during which time she was regularly assaulted and threatened with death. She added that she had been "strangled her to the point of urination on two separate occasions," according to Salt Lake City ABC affiliate KTVX, as well as hit with a belt and held with a knife to her throat, KSL reported. Univision reported that, on one of the two occasions that Martinez reportedly strangled the woman to the point of unconsciousness, he did so by placing his foot on her throat.

"Again at another point in time, [Martinez] grabbed a knife and carved the number '6' into the victim's left hand stating that she had six months to love him or be killed," police said in the probable cause affidavit reported by KSL.

He also allegedly threatened to kill her mother and brother in Mexico and mutilate the body of her brother.

The victim told police that she did not feel she could freely leave the residence during the weeks she was held there.

After his arrest, Martinez was taken to the hospital to be checked for high blood pressure where, police say, he volunteered to having choked the woman  but said it was during consensual sexual encounters, according to Telemundo. He also reportedly volunteered that he had been planning on moving his alleged victim to another home he owned in Arizona on the night of his arrest, according to KTVX.

Police reported that Martinez, who self-identifies as a medical marijuana millionaire, reportedly owns homes in California and Oregon in addition to his properties in Arizona and Utah, has many guns and "access to a large amount of money," NBC News reported — any of which they say he could take advantage of if released on bail.

He had not yet be arraigned but is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County Jail, local Fox affiliate KSTU reported. A protective order against him was issued on Friday.

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