Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned residents of his state against looting in the wake of Hurricane Ian, and he meant it.
But he became especially frustrated this week when a trio of illegal aliens was arrested and charged with looting Floridians whose property was sacked by the storm.
“We’ve had four looters that were arrested, I guess a couple of days ago, and they need to be brought to justice and we’re not going to tolerate it,” he said on Wednesday.
“But you know, three of the four are illegal aliens so these are people that are foreigners, they’re illegally in our country, and not only that, they tried to loot and ransack in the aftermath of a natural disaster. I mean, they should be prosecuted, but they need to be sent back to their home country. They should not be here at all,” DeSantis added.
“If I could I would take those three looters, I’d drag them out by the collars and send them back to where they came from,” he declared.
Earlier this week, Lee County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested Omar Mejia Ortiz, 33, Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena, 26, Brandon Mauricio Araya, 20, and Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya, 20. Mena and both Arayas are in the country illegally, according to authorities.
The GOP governor earlier reminded those thinking about looking following last week’s massive storm that Florida is a “Second Amendment state” and looters could find themselves face-to-face with armed residents defending their property.
“I can tell you in the state of Florida, you never know what may be lurking behind somebody’s home,” DeSantis said. “And I would not want to chance that if I were you given that we are a Second Amendment state.”
That warning was echoed by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno after the four looters were arrested.
“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,” said Marceno. “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.
“They were located and arrested,” Marceno added. “I’m not tolerating it again.”
“I’m not playing. We’re not playing. We have law and order and great residents will be safe and secure. We’ve had arrests on these incidents,” Marceno noted further. “You might walk in. You’ll be carried out.”