Undocumented immigrant stopped for DUI found to have multiple firearms and about 1,000 rounds of ammunition, Sheriff’s Office says

Mexican resident turned over to federal authorities

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) has assisted the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the apprehension of Jose Jaime Morado-Zepeda of North Port, the Sheriff’s Office reported on July 19.

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

Subsequently, the release says, SCSO and HSI investigators determined that Morado-Zepeda, 28, “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,” the release adds.

Sufficient evidence existed after his arrest and release to investigate him for federal firearm charges, the release then notes. As a result, the release points out, he was arrested a second time and taken into federal custody.

The 12th Judicial Circuit Court docket with entries regarding the DUI counts includes a copy of what appears to be a Mexican driver’s license for Morado-Zepeda, The Sarasota News Leader found. His address on the Sheriff’s Office citations was in Lehigh Acres, which is in Lee County.

He also was charged on June 27 with one count of driving with an expired driver’s license for more than six months, the court records show.

He was stopped on Honore Avenue in Sarasota, the citations say.