It would appear that the law has finally caught up to Julio Ortiz and his girlfriend, Fatima Cardoso, in Pasco County. Sheriff’s deputies took the couple into custody on Monday morning after they moved out of the infamous soldier’s home last Thursday. According to an arrest report, Duke Energy officials are pressing charges against the alleged squatters for having illegally diverted electricity to the squatted property while they were staying there. The affidavit cites grand theft as the arresting charge. Those charges carry a maximum of five years in prison.
Chris Nocco, Pasco’s Sheriff, held a press conference on Monday afternoon where he reinforced his earlier comments that his deputies had no course of action up until now. “If our citizens want to be upset about the actions of Julio Ortiz now, imagine if we had to write him a check because we didn’t do our jobs,” he said. A Pasco charity, Veteran Warriors, is coordinating a remodel of the property for the Sharkeys, the properties owners, ahead of their return to Florida this summer. Sand Soldiers of America, another charity, donated legal services to the Sharkeys.
By Jon Tietz
Pasco Sheriff Arrests Squatters
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