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Out-of-state fugitive arrested after citizen reports suspicious vehicle

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Dustin James Brandt, 39, a fugitive with warrants from both Texas and Kansas, was arrested last night after a resident of Arredondo Estates reported a suspicious vehicle that turned out to be an RV stolen from St. John’s County.

At about 6:45 p.m. on January 6, a deputy responded to Arredondo Estates in response to a call about a suspicious vehicle. He found an RV with an unreadable paper tag, parked halfway across the road and partially blocking the road. He also found a man, later identified as Brandt, standing at the rear of the RV.

Brandt told the deputy his driver’s license was in the RV with his wife and gave the name “James Brant,” saying he was transporting the RV from Texas for his company. He also told the deputy that an air line was ruptured, so he had pulled over to repair it. However, the handwritten number on the tag did not match any records, and Brandt’s wife was not located in the RV.

A Florida license plate was found in the RV, and a records check found that it was assigned to that vehicle, which belonged to a man in St. John’s County. After deputies contacted the RV’s owner, he told them the RV was stolen without his knowledge from a storage facility.

The deputy reported that he saw Brandy surreptitiously remove his wallet from his pocket and drop it on the ground; the wallet contained Brandt’s Wisconsin ID with his correct name. Brandt then allegedly changed his story to say he was “just messing around” about driving the RV from Texas and that he was just walking by it when he noticed the door was ajar.

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A shotgun was found inside the RV, and Brandt said it was his. The deputy reported that the ignition lock cylinder of the RV had been broken and re-wired to start the vehicle.

Brandt has felony adjudications out of Colorado, Wisconsin, and Texas, so he is prohibited from possessing firearms. He has active warrants out of Texas for drug and theft charges and out of Kansas for interfering with law enforcement.

Brandt has been charged with grand theft of a vehicle, grand theft of a firearm, possession of a weapon by a felon, and giving a false ID to law enforcement. He is being held on $140,000 bond.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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