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Gov. Ron DeSantis blasts ‘illegal alien’ Florida looters

Most of the heartless looters busted in hurricane-ravaged Florida were illegal immigrants, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday — as he said he’d like to “drag them out by the collars” and “send them back to where they came from.”

“We’ve had four looters that were arrested … and they need to be brought to justice,” the tough gov said during an update on the devastation from historic Hurricane Ian.

“But you know, three of the four are illegal aliens,” said DeSantis, one of the fed-up Republican governors who has been sending border-crossers to Democratic sanctuary destinations.

“And 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,” the incredulous-sounding governor said.

Gov. DeSantis give a Hurrican Ian update in Cape Coral on Tuesday.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he’d like to drag illegal-alien looters “by the collars” and “send them back to where they came from.”
Getty Images

“I mean, they should be prosecuted, but they need to be sent back to their home country. They should not be here at all,” he said.

“If I could, I would take those three looters, I would drag them out by the collars and I would send them back to where they came from,” he again said to applause later during the briefing.

DeSantis was referring to four people busted in Lee County, the Florida area hit hardest by last week’s devastating hurricane.

Mugshot of accused looter Omar Mejia Ortiz.
Officials earlier confirmed the arrests of four alleged looters, including Omar Mejia Ortiz, 33.

Mugshot of accused looter Brandon Mauricio Araya.
Brandon Mauricio Araya, 20, was also among the four arrested.

Mugshot of accused looter Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena.
Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena, 26, was among the four arrested for allegedly looting in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Mugshot of accused looter Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya.
Baby-faced Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya, 20, was among the four accused of looting in Lee County, the area hit hardest by last week’s historic hurricane.

The three men and one woman were accused of burglary of an unoccupied structure during a state of emergency.

Omar Mejia Ortiz, 33, Valerie Celeste Salcedo Mena, 26, Brandon Mauricio Araya, 20, and Steve Eduardo Sanchez Araya, also 20, were all arrested Thursday. Ortiz was hit with a petit larceny charge, while the others have been charged with Grand Theft.

It was not immediately clear which of the three were in the country illegally.

Florida residents put up signs saying, "You loot, we shoot."
DeSantis has warned looters to expect potentially deadly consequences, with Florida residents putting up signs saying “You loot, we shoot.”

Arrest reports from the Lee County Sheriff showed they were apprehended after stealing liquor from a seafood bar wrecked by Hurricane Ian.

The owner of the bar, Nervous Nellie’s, flagged down police and pointed out the alleged thieves, who were carrying approximately 17 bottles of alcohol away from the scene, according to a police report.

An employee of the bar who spoke to The Post said Valerie was previously an employee at the waterfront property who had a job tying up the boats of visiting guests at its dock.

DeSantis has issued stern warnings to would-be looters warning of potentially deadly consequences, saying “Floridians’ right to defend themselves and their homes will be honored.”

He also used it to further opine about not having “the authority to forcibly relocate people” arriving illegally in the Sunshine State beyond those agreeing to his “voluntary relocation program.”

Signs warn looters they will be shot.
The governor again warned looters that “Floridians’ right to defend themselves and their homes will be honored.”

“I do think that what has happened by having massive numbers of people coming across the border has not been good for this country,” he said.

He said on Monday he had interrupted his hurricane duties to attend a memorial service for Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Hartwick, “who got killed by a twice-deported illegal alien from Central America.”

“Someone was operating heavy machinery, was not eligible to work and had fraudulent documents — did not have the proper license — and ran over a deputy. How is that something that should be acceptable?” he asked.

“We can say without a shadow of a doubt that if you just had control of your border, that wouldn’t have happened. And that’s why they’re very preventable crimes,” he said to further applause.

“So it’s really, really sad the situation that our country finds itself in with respect to our open border.”