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Illegal Immigrant Burglary Ring Busted in Ocala

In a lightning fast response to a reported home burglary on the southeast side of Ocala, the Ocala Police Department successfully apprehended three suspects on the evening of March 1.

The incident unfolded when officers were dispatched to the scene following a witness report of three masked individuals breaking into a neighboring residence and absconding with stolen property. Officer Ower was the first to arrive but encountered the suspects fleeing in a vehicle. The pursuit was short-lived, with Sgt. Diesso intercepting the suspects’ vehicle after noticing it departing the scene without headlights.

The apprehended suspects, identified as Diego Zuniga-Llanquin, 27, Eziquel Gines-Chaname, 51, and Matias Meza-Riveros, 25, were taken into custody without further incident. A subsequent investigation led by Detective Collier revealed the suspects’ intent to pilfer a safe containing firearms, jewelry, and currency valued at approximately $50,000. Fortunately, the homeowners were absent during the burglary.

Despite an extensive search aided by MCSO Air 1 and an OPD K9 unit, no additional suspects were located. It was determined that the arrested individuals are not U.S. citizens and are unlawfully present in the country. They have been charged with felony offenses and are currently held at Marion County Jail.

The successful resolution of this case underscores the commendable efforts of all officers and detectives involved. The OPD extends gratitude to vigilant neighbors whose timely reporting proved instrumental in the apprehension. Community members are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity promptly, as collective vigilance is essential in ensuring neighborhood safety.

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