Marshals capture three fugitives

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The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force on Sept. 19 located and arrested three fugitives — including one wanted on two sex charges in Levy County — who posed threats to several communities.

According to a press release from the Marshals, the task force arrested Charles Ellis, 50, outside a house located at 2195 Daffodil Ave., Middleburg, after an investigation developed information on his location. Ellis was wanted by the Levy County Sheriff's Office for sexual battery of a person under 12 years of age and sexual molestation of a person under 12. Ellis' charges involved two separate minor children.  Ellis was transported to the Clay County Jail where he was booked on his outstanding warrant.

The other wanted men arrested were: 

• Jay Mendez, 36, who was captured outside an apartment at 5001 S.W. 20th St., Ocala. Mendez, who is known to be violent, was wanted by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office for two counts of residential burglary, two counts of dealing in stolen property and two counts of grand theft. Mendez was booked into the Marion County Jail on his outstanding warrant.

• Joseph Smith, 32, during a traffic stop on the 2400 block of N.W. 10th St., Ocala. Smith was wanted on a federal warrant for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  Inside Smith's car, agents located a concealed and loaded handgun, cocaine, marijuana, and a large amount of cash. Additional charges are pending, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm with an altered serial number, armed drug trafficking, and possession of marijuana. Smith was booked into the Marion County Jail on his outstanding warrant. 

Task force members included officers from the U.S. Marshals, the Marion, Levy, Alachua, Putnam, Clay, St. John's and Citrus counties Sheriff's Offices and the Gainesville Police Department, were involved in today's arrests.