the Governor visited a Lee County shelter to meet with survivors while the First Lady traveled to meal distribution sites and the Douglas T. Jacobson Veterans’ Nursing Home,

Sheriff In Florida Addresses Hurricane Looters, “Might Walk In” But Will Be “Carried Out”

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno had some tough talk for thugs who want to loot homes and businesses in his community after four suspects, three of whom were illegal immigrants, were arrested for burglary in the devastation of Hurricane Ian.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno had some tough talk for thugs who want to loot homes and businesses in his community after four suspects, three of whom were illegal immigrants, were arrested for burglary in the devastation of Hurricane Ian.

At a press conference Tuesday, the Republican sheriff said, “As far as looting — we have law and order in Lee County. We have law and order in our great state of Florida, and we always will. Right now, we have four cases of looting, and I’m proud to say they’re behind bars where they belong. Our residents are going to be safe.”

Marceno was referring to the recent arrests of Omar Mejia Ortiz, Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena, Brandon Mauricio Araya, and Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya.

As The Free Press reported, all four face charges of burglary of an unoccupied structure during a state of emergency. Ortiz was also charged with petit larceny, while the other three suspects were charged with grand larceny.

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The Daily Mail reported that they were scooped up on Sept. 29 and “booked for ransacking devastated homes and businesses on Fort Myers Beach.” The Daily Mail also reported that all four live outside the community. Ortiz reportedly lived in Immokalee, some 50 miles away, while the other three live in Cape Coral, a 40-minute commute.

Marceno said on Tuesday that three of the suspects were illegal immigrants. But he added that actions like theirs would not be tolerated. 

“I’m not playing. We’re not playing,” the sheriff said. “We have law and order and great residents will be safe and secure. We’ve had arrests on these incidents. You might walk in. You’ll be carried out.”

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis also addressed the arrests at a press conference Tuesday.

“I don’t have the authority to forcibly relocate people,” he said. “If I could, I would take those three looters, drag them out by the collar, and send them back to where they came from.”

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