Fort White pickup theft investigation leads to arrest of two men

Two men were arrested after the theft of a firefighter’s pickup truck led Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies to discover a cache of guns, drugs and ammunition. According to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) release, Percell Brinson, 31, of Lake City, and Courtney Williams, 34, of Fort White, were on multiple charges stemming from the theft of a pickup truck.

Percell BrinsonCourtesy of CCSO Percell Brinson

The series of events started on Sunday when CCSO deputies responded to Columbia County Fire Station #46 in Fort White to the report a stolen 2019 Ford pickup truck that belonged to one of the firefighters. The vehicle was taken when the fire station crew responded to a medical call.

While the crew was away from the station, Brinson stole the truck, which had several firearms and ammunition inside.

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CCSO deputies located the truck a short time later and apprehended Brinson, but several of the items inside the vehicle were missing. Brinson would later tell detectives that the items might be located at 390 SW Jasmine St. in Fort White.

A search warrant was obtained and executed at that address on Monday and several caches of firearms, ammunition and marijuana were discovered hidden throughout the property. The initial inventory revealed approximately nine firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and 80 pounds of marijuana. Five severely neglected dogs were also found on the property and Animal Control responded to take possession of them.

Courtney WilliamsCourtesy of CCSO Courtney Williams

Williams, the property owner, was arrested on various weapons, drug and animal neglect charges.

“This case evolved very quickly and led to an extensive recovery of evidence,” said Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter in the press release. “The tremendous cooperation and proactive work among our Patrol and Detective Divisions resulted in the successful resolution of this case, and possibly many others.

We may be able to solve more crimes as a result of this one incident.”

CCSO is continuing to recover items on the property that may be linked to other reported crimes.

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