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Yadriel is Maria Ruiz's boyfriend. He is the father of her daughter, Pepa. He is portrayed by Ian Paola.


Yadriel is a man of few words, but seems to genuinely love and care for both Maria and Pepa.

Physical Appearance[]

Yadriel has a shaved head and a Teardrop Tattoo under the left eye. Both arms are covered in tattoos as well. He has a small dark mustache and is always seen in plaid clothing.


Before Maria's Incarceration[]

In flashbacks, Yadriel is first seen being chased by police and throws his drug stash into a nearby bush to avoid getting caught. Maria witnesses this from her bedroom window and decides to cover for him (her friend knows of him due to him hanging out on a corner near their school). She runs outside, grabs the stash and throws it through her open window. The cops notice her and search her, touching her inappropriately and making lewd comments as they do so. She is pleased to see Yadriel not get arrested.

She travels to his boxing ring later, to return his stash. Since he does not talk, she challenges him to a fight instead. As she tries to fire him up, she accidentally punches him in the face. He's stunned at first but smiles as she apologizes profusely. They stay behind after everyone has left and share a drink. Maria explains she wants to be a dental hygienist to help people smile and be confident. Yadriel finally speaks, saying he wants to own convenience stores because of the happy memories he has visiting them as a child. They kiss.

At a later point, Maria argues with her father about national Dominican pride being too closely tied to drug dealing. Maria is ashamed of this but her father insists she be proud of her identity. He makes an inappropriate comment about how her sexual relationship with Yadriel is changing her and Maria snaps, saying if drug dealing is what being Dominican is about, she doesn't want it. Her father kicks her out of his house. She packs her belongings and leaves with Yadriel, who is waiting outside ("Power Suit").

Season One[]

Maria became pregnant with Yadriel's baby before her sentence began, forcing her to carry out her pregnancy in prison. She gave birth in a nearby hospital but was required to go back to prison almost immediately.

Season Two[]

Yadriel is first seen in "Looks Blue, Tastes Red", visiting Maria with their daughter Pepa. During his visitations, he was very stoic and quiet, giving one-word answers or not even talking to Maria at all.

After hearing about Maria's transfer, Yadriel became even more withdrawn. Maria begged Yadriel to start talking to their daughter, saying she knows he finds it hard, but doesn't want their daughter to suffer developmental problems. When Maria's transfer is cancelled, he visits again and lovingly chatters with the baby, to Maria's delight.

Season Three[]

In "Mother's Day", Yadriel brings Pepa to visit Maria, and the family enjoys their time together. Upon leaving, Yadriel informs Maria that he will not be returning to Litchfield with Pepa anymore. He tells her that he doesn't want Pepa to have memories of visiting her mother in prison. Maria screams and cries as they leave.

Season Four[]

Yadriel appears in flashback scenes of Maria's back story in "Power Suit", but is not seen or spoken about in present time.

Season Five[]

Yadriel appears going shopping with his mom and daughter, where he rejects a woman's advances and defends Maria to his mother. Then he is seen bringing his and Maria's daughter outside the prison so she can hold her.

Season Seven[]

Yadriel is revealed to have a new partner other than Maria Ruiz, who is also named Maria, in Season 7. Ruiz is not open to it at first, especially after having heard her name. However, after her, Yadriel, and Yadriel's new partner have a visitation where they take turns reading a book to Pepa, she becomes more open to it. She attempts to keep a tough act with the new Maria at first, but after seeing how well she is treating her daughter, you can see her smiling, indicating that she is opening up to her.


  • The teardrop tattoo under Yadriel's left eye indicates that he murdered someone.
  • One year, on Valentine's Day, Yadriel gave Maria flowers he stole from his cousin's funeral, as mentioned by her in "You Also Have a Pizza".