3 To Know: Porn arrest on Marco, Auto insurance on rise

Marco Eagle
Auto insurance rates are up nearly 15% in some states over the past year, while nationwide premiums have risen more than $240 on average to $2,014 a year, according to comparison site Bankrate.

1. Auto insurance costs on the rise

If you think the cost of a car has gotten expensive, wait until you go to insure it.

Auto insurance rates are up nearly 15% in some states over the past year, while nationwide premiums have risen more than $240 on average to $2,014 a year, according to comparison site Bankrate. And the increases aren’t over. U.S. rates are expected to rise by an additional 8.4% in 2023, which would outpace current inflation at 4.9%, and represent the largest increase in six years, according to consumer research and finance site Value-Penguin.

The rising insurance costs come as consumers are struggling financially after nearly three years of high inflation and surging car prices. Eleven percent of drivers now pay more for car insurance than car payments, and seven percent  spend more on insurance than household utilities, a report from insurance platform Autoinsurance.com shows.

“Many consumers have little to spare in their budgets to pay more for household goods and auto insurance,” said Aliza Vigderman, content director at AutoInsurance.com. She said the impact of higher auto insurance costs spans upper- and lower-income households. And for people living on fixed incomes, “it may soon be impossible to pay for car insurance.” – Medora Lee/Staff

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2. Child porn arrest made on Marco Island

The Marco Island Police Department and the Collier County Sheriff's Office SWAT served a warrant on a Marco Island house Tuesday morning, according to a press release.

After receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an investigation was launched.

Ricardo Reyes-Arragon is accused of possessing and distributing child pornography, the release stated.

Reyes-Arragon has been charged with eight counts of possession of obscene child pornography and two counts of transmitting child pornography.

Reyes-Arragon, who was transported to the Naples Jail Center .

The investigation is ongoing.

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3. Fired Lee County deputy sentenced to 364 days

A former Lee County deputy accused of contributing to a wrongful arrest in a plot last year was sentenced this week for his role in the conspiracy.

Niko Irizarry, 26, of Cape Coral, pleaded no contest on Feb. 20 to one count of official misconduct and was sentenced Tuesday to 364 days in jail with credit time served, followed by 36 months of probation.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said he fired Irizarry on Feb. 11, 2022.

Irizarry arrested a person for drug trafficking on Dec. 15, 2021, related to fentanyl.

In early January, the sheriff’s office received information the arrest wasn’t lawful, and authorities launched a probe with the sheriff’s office’s Major Crimes Task Force.

The investigation found the drugs were planted in the suspect’s car, who wasn’t aware of the conspiracy.

As authorities questioned him, Irizarry confessed to lying during a sworn statement, according to his arrest affidavit, and said he was offered a reward by one of the co-conspirators if he arrested the suspect.

Irizarry worked for the sheriff’s correction bureau in 2018 before returning in 2020. He had no previously disciplinary action, records indicate. – Tomas Rodriguez/Staff