One of the three suspects sought in the drugging deaths of two robbery victims after they left gay clubs in Hell’s Kitchen has surrendered to cops, law-enforcement sources said Sunday.
Jacob Barroso, 30, of Harlem gave up and was charged for his role specifically in the death of Julio Ramirez, 25, who along with John Umberger, 33, died last spring after ingesting a lethal chemical cocktail while separately partying in Manhattan, sources said.
Two other suspects in the men’s deaths — Jayqwan Hamilton, 35, and Robert Demaio, 34, both of Brooklyn — also were indicted last week for the crimes but remain on the lam.
The trio is part of a larger gang that is accused of drugging and robbing people in 17 separate instances throughout the city between September 2021 and August 2022, police sources have said.
Both Umberger and Ramirez died of “acute intoxication” from a mix of fentanyl, cocaine, ethanol and other drugs, the city medical examiner said March 3.
Both were victims of homicides stemming from “drug-facilitated deaths,” the examiner concluded.
Authorities have charged Barroso with murder, robbery, grand larceny and conspiracy, sources said.
The alleged killers sprang on the men in separate incidents when the victims were leaving the Q NYC and Ritz Bar and Lounge.
NYPD Detective Randy Rose connected the deaths to a string of robberies by a gang working the area’s gay clubs.
The group drugged victims, then used mobile cash apps to siphon off tens of thousands of dollars from their bank accounts.
A political consultant from Washington, DC, Umberger disappeared May 28, 2022, after a Saturday night on the town.
He’d been partying at The Q NYC, a gay nightclub at 795 Eighth Avenue, while visiting New York for work.
Four days later, his body was found on the fifth floor of an Upper East Side townhouse owned by conservative lawyer Jay Sekulow’s American Center for Law and Justice, where Umberger worked as director of diplomacy and political programs.
Umberger’s cell phone and credit card were missing, and more than $25,000 had been transferred out of his accounts through apps such as Venmo and Paypal.
Ramirez, a Brooklyn social worker, was found dead weeks earlier in the back of a taxi on the Lower East Side at about 4 a.m.
He’d been at the Ritz Bar and Lounge, a gay club on West 46th Street that is just two blocks from Q NYC.
Ramirez’s phone and wallet were missing after the April 21 robbery.
His bank accounts had also been emptied of about $20,000 through payment apps, and the thieves maxed out his credit cards on expensive dinners and spa services.
-Additional reporting by Larry Celona
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