Suspects in St. Johnsbury drug robbery killing, from left: Rafael Rodriguez, Natasha Cady, Brittany Clark, and Michael Ringuette
For the second time in a week, Vermont law enforcement has concluded that a 2022 violent shooting death was the result of a drug crime-related robbery.
On January 11, the U.S. Attorney for Vermont charged a Colchester crack cocaine dealer with leading a February robbery at a Swanton home that resulted in the death of a rival dealer, Jacob Oliver.
The Vermont State Police on Tuesday, Jan. 17 arrested four suspects in connection with the fatal shooting last month of Israel Jimenez Lugo, 49, at the St. Johnsbury apartment house where he lived. VSP was assisted by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations during the arrests.
The suspects and charges are:
- Rafael Rodriguez, 34, of St. Johnsbury: First-degree murder, assault and robbery, and burglary of an occupied dwelling while armed.
- Natasha Cady, 29, of Barton: Aiding in the commission of first-degree murder, aiding in the commission of assault and robbery, and aiding in the commission of burglary into an occupied dwelling while armed.
- Brittany Clark, 33, of St. Johnsbury: Aiding in the commission of first-degree murder, aiding in the commission of assault and robbery, and burglary into an occupied dwelling.
- Michael Ringuette, 55, of St. Johnsbury: Aiding in the commission of first-degree murder, aiding in the commission of assault and robbery, burglary into an occupied dwelling, and unlawful restraint.
According to court papers prepared by investigators, the four suspects are alleged to have been involved with buying and selling illegal drugs and participated in a plan to rob Jimenez Lugo. During the commission of the robbery, which took place overnight Dec. 13-14, 2022, Rodriguez fatally shot Jimenez Lugo.
Rodriguez and Ringuette were ordered held without bail, and Cady and Clark for lack of $50,000 bail pending arraignment hearings, which are expected to occur at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in St. Johnsbury.
The Vermont State Police worked closely on this investigation with Caledonia County State’s Attorney’s Office. The investigation remains active and ongoing. Police continue to request that anyone with information that could assist detectives call the Vermont State Police in St. Johnsbury at 802-748-3111 or provide an anonymous tip online at https://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.
Categories: Drugs and Crime