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Julian Christopher Howard, 32, and Arnett Clarence Bryant Jr., 30, both of Archer, were arrested in the Raleigh area of Levy County on Thursday by the Levy County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Marshals Service Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force on drug charges in an investigation that began in February.
Levy County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force started the investigation with Howard, considered a mid-level drug dealer who is is known to sell crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana.
A warrant for Howard's arrest was issued Sept. 27 charging possession and sale of crack cocaine and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, but he could not be located.
The two task forces conducted surveillance at 8384 N.E. 190 Ave. and located Howard doing business at the residence. Howard and Bryant were in a vehicle when they ordered the men out at gunpoint. The suspects complied and the arrest went without incident.
Sheriff's Maj. Evan Sullivan said, "The arrest was successful due to the element of surprise, great strategic planning and the willingness of the members to go the extra mile."
Howard was arrested on the September warrant and was also faces additional charges. When Howard was arrested he had in his lap 5.6 grams of crack cocaine and 0.6 of a gram of powder cocaine. Bryant had 2 grams of crack cocaine and 2.7 grams of marijuana in his lap.
Howard and Bryant are both convicted felons. Howard has an extensive criminal history dating back to his juvenile years and arrests for cocaine, battery on a police officer, robbery, weapons charges and homicide. Bryant has been convicted on domestic battery, child neglect and resisting arrest charges . He has 19 felony charges and nine misdemeanor charges on his record.
Sullivan said when the county submits a fugitive — like the 92 arrested this year — to the federal fugitive task force that agency will pay the overtime accrued by Levy County officers on the cases.
"In economic lean times this Task Force has been a godsend," Sullivan said. "It has saved Levy County taxpayers thousands of dollars in overtime.”