SCSO Assists Homeland Security with Suspect Apprehension

NEWS RELEASE 23-036 - JULY 19, 2023
Morado-Zepeda, Jose Jaime

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) assisted the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with the apprehension of Jose Jaime Morado-Zepeda of North Port.

On June 27, Morado-Zepeda was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of Driving Under the Influence. During an inventory of his truck, deputies located multiple firearms, approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and $5,000 cash. The truck was not registered, and the license plate appeared to be fake or altered which resulted in the truck being impounded.

Subsequently, SCSO and HSI investigators determined Morado-Zepeda, who is not a U.S. citizen, had entered the country illegally. Further investigation revealed that Morado-Zepeda had been deported for illegal entry several times and is considered an aggravated felon due to his previous record. Sufficient evidence was determined after his arrest and release to investigate him with federal firearm charges – at which point, he was arrested a 2nd time and taken into federal custody.