In the earlier morning hours of Wednesday, June 3, a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested a wanted FBI fugitive suspected of being a member of a dangerous organized drug trafficking ring in north central Florida.
At around 2:15, the deputy noticed a vehicle with an expired tag and stopped the vehicle for the traffic infraction. What started out as a minor traffic violation, morphed into the arrest of the passenger, Daniel Heath Willis, 26 of Alachua for multiple charges including a federal warrant, drug and weapons possessions and for falsely identifying himself to the deputy.
The Jacksonville FBI stated “Willis, wanted for his alleged involvement with narcotics trafficking in central Florida, was the final subject sought by the FBI. On May 19, 2020 a federal arrest warrant was issued for Willis in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, after he was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, cocaine, alprazolam, and over 50 grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine, unlawful use of a communication facility, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.”
It was determined in the investigation that Willis was armed with a pistol, but was taken into custody without incident.
“Day in and day out our deputies are faced with the unknown yet they continually strive to keep us all safe.” Sheriff Mark Hunter said, “A very dangerous man was taken off the streets by this observant Deputy just doing his job and this is not an isolated incident. I’m proud of the CCSO team and their hard work to help our community and keep it safe.”
Links to the FBI press release and Wanted Poster