An Ocala man who once claimed to work for the FBI while being arrested at a Silver Springs motel found himself back behind bars recently after a local ministry was burglarized.
Marion County sheriff’s deputies responded on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to Present Truth Ministries, located on N.E. 7th St. in Ocala, in reference to a burglary in progress. When they arrived, they located 30-year-old Justin Anthony Mendez a short distance away, a sheriff’s office report states.
A witness reported seeing Mendez kick in a door to a storage building on the property and steal a radio. The sheriff’s office’s Property Crimes Unit responded to continue the investigation and ultimately Mendez was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail.
Mendez was charged with two counts of unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure and larceny/petit theft (second offense). He was being held on $10,500 bond and is due in court March 23 at 9 a.m., jail records show.
Mendez is no stranger to the Marion County legal system. He was arrested in August 2019 after going to a minimart where he wasn’t welcome. A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded to the Circle K at 5182 E. Silver Springs Blvd. in Ocala and located Mendez in the parking lot. A check of Mendez’s criminal record showed that he had been trespassed from the Circle K on Oct. 5, 2018.
Mendez also was arrested in December 2018 after a sheriff’s deputy was called to the Sun Plaza Motel, located at 5461 E Silver Springs Blvd., in reference to man who was trespassing at the location. When the deputy arrived, he recognized Mendez from a previous incident at the motel. The deputy then confirmed that Mendez had been trespassed from the location in October, a sheriff’s office report states.
The deputy searched Mendez before placing him inside his patrol vehicle and located a hypodermic needle in his front left pocket. After being read his rights, Mendez said he didn’t know what the needle would test positive for but “he works for the FBI and he obtained it from them,” the report says.
After a field test of the needle residue tested positive for methamphetamine, Mendez was transported to the Marion County Jail and charged with trespassing of an occupied structure or conveyance and possession of drug equipment, jail records show.