Brandon Reese, a fugitive last seen in Columbus on Jan. 9, was apprehended Friday morning by U.S. Marshals after a manhunt that lasted nearly seven months.
Around 7 a.m. Friday, deputies from U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force Tampa Division tracked Reese, now 27, to a condominium in Crystal Beach, Fla., according to a press release from Supervisory Deputy Lamont Ruffin, public affairs officer for U.S. Marshals Service, Middle District of Georgia. Crystal Beach is an unincorporated town on the Gulf of Mexico about 45 minutes from Tampa.
According to the release, Reese had vowed he would never be caught or taken into custody without incident, but he was apprehended and transported to Tampa where he was brought before a federal judge. He was ordered held in federal custody until he can be handed over to authorities in Columbus.
Reese was wanted for multiple federal, state and local warrants including unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, violation of probation, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and numerous misdemeanor warrants.
On Jan. 9, Reese fled the Liberty gas station at 4206 Macon Road after discovering that the white Mercedes he’d been driving had been blocked by narcotics agents. According to officers, Darius Upshaw climbed in the driver’s seat, put the Mercedes in drive and struck the vehicle of agent Jonathan Memmo, then put the car in reverse and struck agent Laura Stinson, knocking her to the ground.
Upshaw was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, as well as possession of cocaine and marijuana. Another man, Daniel Gaines, was charged with failing to exhibit a license and one count each of possession of cocaine and marijuana.
Meanwhile, officers went to 4315 Yates Drive, where Reese had been living, and searched the house with robots, finding marijuana and multiple weapons including an AK-47. They couldn’t find Reese.
On Jan. 16, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Reese charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. At that time, the fugitive investigation was turned over to the Columbus division of the U.S. Marshals Service, which eventually turned its attention to Florida.
According to the release, agencies involved in the manhunt included the Columbus Police Department, the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, the Metro Narcotics Unit, the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and Florida Regional Fugitive Tasks Force.