Ropa Usada owner jailed for devising fire at competitor TMs business

Francisco Ayala Ramirez // Hidalgo County Jail Photo

A business owner is behind bars after being accused of hiring three men to set fire to a building belonging to his competitors.

The fire happened back in May, and Francisco Ayala Ramirez was booked at the Hidalgo County Jail on Wednesday, June 4th.

Halcon Trading, a ropa usada warehouse, was deliberately set on fire, according to a fire department investigators.

Ramirez is the owner of Ramme TMs Used Clothing in McAllen.

He and the owner of Halcon Trading were business partners in the past, according to a probable cause statement.

Their business relationship resulted in the loss of contracts worth a large amount of money and a loss of clients, an affidavit obtained by Action 4 News said.

That TMs when Ramirez allegedly hired three men to set fire to Halcon Trading in Mcallen.

The men went to Home Depot in Mission 10 hours before the fire to buy supplies for the arson plot, documents said.

Authorities were able to obtain surveillance video from the Home Depot, where the suspected arsonists were seen buying supplies used in the arson.

At the scene of the crime, a gas container, a lighter, a large sledge hammer, a work glove and a camouflage jacket were all secured as evidence.

Those were the items allegedly bought by the three men hired by Ramirez.

During the three alarm fire in McAllen, one firefighter was injured and transported to the hospital.

Investigators said it was the second time the ropa usada business was set on fire. The business did not sustain major damage when it was set on fire the first time.

A probable cause statement said Ramirez previously threatened the owner of Halcon Trading and assaulted her husband. A report about the assault was made with Hidalgo Police Department.

Ramirez was released from jail on June 5th after posting bond.

The 55-year-old had a bond set at $500,000 for a charge of arson.