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Sheriff Makes Title for Himself by Releasing Juvenile Delinquents’ Information

5 days after Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s southwest coast, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno held a press briefing during which he all however inspired folks to maim or kill looters in his storm-ravaged group.

“If somebody makes that grave mistake and so they select to loot, they could have the ability to stroll into somebody’s dwelling… However they are going to be carried out,” Marceno stated October 3.

He added: “I ain’t taking part in video games. We aren’t taking part in video games.”

Marceno later launched the identify and private data of a 14-year-old looting suspect, amongst different arrestees. On October 12, he posted a Hurricane Ian video montage, which ends with a string of mugshots of post-storm arrests, capped off with phrase “oxygen stealer,” his favourite moniker for suspected criminals.

Although Marceno’s antics may appear uncommon, these accustomed to the sheriff know it is all in line with his tough-talking persona. Lengthy earlier than he was thrust into the nationwide highlight in Hurricane Ian’s aftermath, Marceno was utilizing an official Lee County social media web page to publish self-aggrandizing TikTok movies, at the very least one among which options him rising from a dense fog whereas brandishing an assault rifle.

Throughout police raids, Marceno could be seen hammering down yard indicators along with his picture within the entrance of suspected drug dens, whereas proclaiming, “This drug home is closed. We’re cleansing up the actual property right here.”

His mode of transporting suspects is considerably unconventional as properly: he has a paddywagon with the phrases “Marceno Motel” printed on the again of it — his catchphrase for a neighborhood jail. Made-for-television segments are sometimes posted on Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace social media pages, during which Marceno references the “Marceno Motel” and divulges the county jail’s newest “company” and their respective costs. (Marceno’s automobile assortment additionally options an official sheriff’s workplace ice cream truck, which is emblazoned with an enormous graphic print of him surrounded by smiling youngsters.)

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Sheriff Carmine Marceno has special-made yard-signs along with his face on them, and a message for alleged drug sellers.

Photograph by Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace

Whereas many Lee County residents help Marceno’s stunts and reward him for his hands-on work within the catastrophe zone, others declare that he’s engaged in legislation enforcement propagandism.

It has been arduous at occasions to extricate his theatrical TikTok persona from the person who’s delivering heart-rending updates to a group devastated by one of many worst pure disasters to afflict Florida in fashionable historical past.

After declining an interview request, Marceno issued an announcement  to New Occasions, saying, “I’ve zero tolerance for looters and others who prey on our residents throughout these very troublesome occasions.”

He continued: “Because the chief legislation enforcement officer in Lee County, my biggest obligation is to offer security and safety for our nice residents, particularly throughout a state of emergency.”

“Be happy to maneuver to Portland or Seattle. We don’t need you right here.”

Born within the Bronx and raised on Lengthy Island, Marceno graduated from a New York police academy in 1997 and started working part-time as a police officer with the Suffolk County Division of Parks the next 12 months. He moved to southwest Florida within the late Nineties and joined the Naples Police Division in November 1999.

Data obtained by New Occasions present he failed two makes an attempt on the state officer certification examination –– taken in June and July 2000. He stepped away from the Naples Police Division in August 2000 and returned to New York. Although his time as a Naples officer was temporary, he obtained commendations for his pleasant demeanor with the general public, and an incident during which he helped fellow emergency responders revive a affected person in cardiac arrest.

After just a few years hiatus from the Sunshine State, Marceno returned to Florida legislation enforcement in 2003, becoming a member of the Collier County Sheriff’s Workplace.

In a collection of job interviews, the Collier County Sheriff’s Workplace realized that Marceno had taken an unlawful steroid routine on the age of 18. In accordance with a job interview report, he additionally engaged his personal juvenile acts of theft: stealing meals from a grocery retailer the place he labored round age 16, and shoplifting sweet as a 10-year-old boy.

Marceno secured a job with the Collier County Sheriff’s Workplace regardless of the interview report discovering that his use of unlawful steroids as a younger man robotically disqualified him from additional job consideration pursuant to the division’s strict drug coverage. (The report is hooked up on the finish of this text.)

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno has launched a number of self-promotional movies donning tactical gear and brandishing assault rifles.

Screenshot from a video by the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace

The New York native labored for the Collier County Sheriff’s Workplace for greater than ten years and obtained the county’s Distinguished Public Servant Award in 2012.

He joined the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace as a lieutenant on June 28, 2013, information present, the place he rose by means of the ranks to an undersheriff place. When Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott retired in 2018 after 30 years on the pressure, Marceno was chosen by then-Governor Rick Scott to fill the place.

Whereas Marceno was gaining a following along with his hard-on crime rhetoric and his moniker as Florida’s “Legislation and Order” sheriff, he confronted a messy paternity scandal involving native resident Deanna Williams, which was reported by Fox 4, amongst different retailers.

Williams and Marceno had a quick relationship whereas she was pursuing a grand theft case with the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace in 2018. “The [grand theft case] I reported was, for him, a possibility to have a relationship,” Williams stated in a 2019 interview with the Guardian. “He abused his place.”

Williams filed a paternity lawsuit towards Marceno in November 2018, claiming he was the daddy of her little one and tried to stress her to have an abortion. In a proper grievance filed with the Florida Division of Legislation Enforcement (FDLE), she alleged that he threatened her throughout her being pregnant. She reported to FDLE that she and her household began receiving terrifying calls throughout the dispute, together with one during which an unknown feminine caller advised her she wanted to “have her throat slit and face slashed.” 

Marceno denied these allegations. FDLE reviewed Williams’ case and located inadequate grounds for a felony probe into Marceno. Textual content messages between the pair confirmed no threats by Marceno; in a single message, he says, “I’ve lived my complete life serving to folks and by no means damage anybody.” (The FDLE report is hooked up beneath.)

Within the 2020 Lee County Sheriff’s election, Marceno locked up movie star endorsements from rock star Ted Nugent and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Jim Williams, a chief of investigations with the Collier Sheriff’s Workplace, advised Information Press that Marceno was a “pure chief” and deserved to retain his Lee County publish. Sean Hannity, who owned a multimillion-dollar mansion within the Naples space the place Marceno as soon as labored, backed Marceno as properly, calling him a very good buddy.

Detractors claimed Marceno lacked command expertise, and that his background in group policing was insufficient to justify his place on the helm of a sheriff’s workplace in a county of greater than 750,000 residents.

Marceno prevailed within the 2020 race, and his standing as a neighborhood movie star solely grew from there. His public statements took on a extra political tone, as he continued constructing his model as a hardline conservative gunslinger within the vein of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In June 2022, the sheriff fell into the nationwide highlight when he posted a video and private data of a handcuffed 10-year-old boy. The child had been arrested for sending out a textual content message with photos he had pulled off the web of money and rifles. (Although dad and mom claimed it was a botched joke, the boy was charged for allegedly making a risk to his college through the textual content, which he despatched days after the Uvalde, Texas, mass taking pictures. )

In an interview with Steve Doocy on Fox Information, Marceno defended his therapy of the 10-year-old and referred to as for a return to what he describes as “old-school” child-rearing practices.

“After I was a child, the nun hit you with a picket ruler. You understood what was proper and unsuitable,” Marceno stated.

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Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno speaks to the media on the scene of a deputy-involved crash.

Photograph by Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace

Within the wake of the Uvalde taking pictures — and within the midst of the controversy over his publicizing the perp stroll of a 10-year-old boy — Marceno planted his foot firmly the sector of hardline politics. 

“To the nice residents of Lee County… sadly, the tragic occasions in Texas and different elements of the nation have unleashed renewed makes an attempt by President Biden — sleepy Joe Biden and his extremist followers — to advance their political agenda,” Marceno stated, standing close to a desk embellished with a blue NYPD hat and folded American flags. “I’ve made my stance clear on our Second Modification rights. And in contrast to the president, I imagine it’s absolute.”

The sheriff rejected requires gun legislation reform, saying a scarcity of psychological well being assets and the “ethical decay of America” have been accountable for growing violent crime. He urged {that a} return to “private accountability” was so as.

He continued: “Anybody who’s towards this, be happy to maneuver to Portland or Seattle. We don’t need you right here.”

“This can be a joke, proper?”

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Lee County on September 28, bringing 150 mph winds and inundating coastal communities with an enormous storm surge that destroyed entire metropolis blocks. Amongst Florida counties, Lee had the best share of fatalities linked to the storm, with the native demise toll exceeding 50 folks as of October 16.

In entrance of wrecked buildings and torn up boats, Marceno supplied every day updates to residents, delivering information about storm-related casualties and detailing his division’s search and rescue efforts. As the times wore on, he detailed how his division had undertaken to go looking submerged autos for the stays of storm victims.

The sheriff’s zero-tolerance method, in addition to his penchant for theatrics, performed a serious position in his management within the hurricane restoration. Two weeks after the storm struck, he was nonetheless warning looters of imminent retribution: “For those who’re fortunate, you may go to jail,” he stated on October 11.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace, in the meantime, has been documenting progress in delivering provides and rebuilding bridges to the county’s barrier islands, which have been lower off by Ian. Among the footage launched by the division has cinematic music sweeping over scenes of Marceno embracing residents. One story particulars how rations have been quickly delivered to Pine Island residents after they chatted with the sheriff about their lack of provides.

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Carmine Marceno has branded himself as a “Florida’s Legislation and Order Sheriff.”

October 11 marked a milestone within the restoration effort as bridge entry to the decimated group of Sanibel Island was restored. Marceno stood alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis to announce the reopening, with a convoy of vans traversing the bridge within the background. 

All of the whereas, Marceno has obtained reward from locals for going out, day-to-day, into ravaged communities. “The person takes care of enterprise. He’ll lead Lee County by means of this devastation. It is all about group,” one commenter on Fb wrote.

Others have bitten again, saying Marceno has been carrying on the identical sort of self-promotion and backpatting that made his pre-hurricane antics arduous to swallow. When he launched a picture of himself posing for a photograph op in entrance of a scene of mass destruction on Fort Myers Seaside, one Twitter consumer responded, “This can be a joke, proper?”

“This will’t be actual. Tone deaf as fuck,” one other commenter wrote.

Households of inmates at county jails have decried the sheriff’s workplace’s dealing with of the catastrophe.

One Lee County girl advised New Occasions that her mom, who was awaiting a bail listening to, was compelled to experience out the storm within the downtown Fort Myers jail after the sheriff’s workplace declined to evacuate the power, although it’s in an evacuation zone susceptible to harmful storm surge. The jail had bathrooms overflowing with human sewage, and the employees have been giving inmates cloudy, brown water to drink, the mom reported.

Detainees have been transferred to the primary jail, the place New Occasions obtained a number of stories from prisoners and their members of the family, saying inmates have been being denied clear water for so long as 20 hours at a time within the aftermath of the storm. Some resorted to ingesting contaminated water from the faucet, one inmate’s member of the family stated. One other inmate’s spouse advised New Occasions that prisoners weren’t receiving their medicine.

The sheriff’s workplace confirmed to New Occasions that it transferred prisoners from downtown Fort Myers to the county’s fundamental jail after the storm broken town’s utilities. The sheriff’s workplace stated that the downtown jail didn’t maintain vital flood harm; a spokesperson maintained that inmates have been receiving meals, water, and medicine in accordance with the relevant laws.

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Sheriff Carmine Marceno commissioned a customized paddywagon to haul arrestees round.

Photograph by the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace



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