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Friday, March 31, 2023

Ocala man arrested at Walmart on shoplifting, drug charges

A 34-year-old Ocala man with a prior theft conviction was arrested on shoplifting and drug possession charges after he was accused of stealing over $180 worth of merchandise from a local Walmart.

On Thursday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Walmart located at 34 Bahia Avenue in Ocala in reference to a retail petit theft incident. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with a store associate who advised that a suspect, identified as Aaron Mikel Willis, had been detained for theft.

Aaron Mikel Willis
Aaron Mikel Willis

The store associate advised that Willis had been observed placing several items into his pockets and a black duffel bag that was in his possession. According to the store associate, Willis was detained after he attempted to exit the store without paying for the items.

The deputy made contact with Willis who advised that he was “going through a lot at the moment.” He apologized to the deputy and stated that he knew what he did was wrong. He claimed that he had placed several of the items back and had “only kept a few,” according to the MCSO report.

In total, Willis allegedly concealed four items that were valued at $181.79.

A pat-down search of Willis was conducted by the deputy, and a silver valve was located in the left pocket of his pants. Inside the valve, a “series of small plastic bags” were located. The MCSO report stated that one bag contained a brown powder-like substance and the other bags contained a small amount of a white crystal-like substance.

Willis claimed that the valve and its contents belonged to a friend.

The deputy noted in the MCSO report that a bulge was observed in the top of Willis’ shirt, and the deputy located a glass pipe that was attached to a necklace. The pipe contained a white and brown powder residue.

According to the MCSO report, the brown powder later field-tested positive for fentanyl and the white crystal-like substance field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

After being read his Miranda rights, Willis stated that he did not want to discuss the incident. A computer search of Willis revealed that he was previously convicted of theft in Marion County on November 2, 2004.

Willis was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $5,500 bond. He is facing felony charges for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (two counts), along with misdemeanor charges for second degree petit theft (second offense) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.