Dade Sheriff's Department Reports on Fugitive, Sand Mountain Fires

Jason Durham was arrested by Dade County Sheriff's deputies and Drug Task Force agents on Monday afternoon.

Previously, he had been a fugitive from justice, wanted on narcotics, weapons and stolen vehicle pursuant to a Dec. 7 warrant. Between then and Durham's Jan. 23 arrest, the sheriff's office reported, it had received death threats online. These messages put law enforcement officers on notice that if they attempted to apprehend Durham, they would be killed in the process.

"Due to the high volume of police killings and violence towards law enforcement, these statements weren't taken lightly and all preparations were made for our officers to apprehend this suspect safely," said Dade Sheriff Ray Cross. His department notified all officers and surrounding agencies of the threats.

But in the end Durham surrendered peacefully and without violence contrary to the threats.

The original charge against Durham was for possession of a controlled substance, but while on scene, officers discovered drugs as well as two weapons reported stolen out of Jackson County, Alabama. Additional charges were filed for theft by bringing stolen property in the state (the firearms) and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

Sheriff Cross said he's happy with the lack of drama. "I am thankful that my officers were uninjured and the warrant service was executed in a professional bearing without incident," said the sheriff.

Fires on Sand Mountain

The Sheriff also issued a release on the three fires Monday night in the Davis Community.

The first reported fire call was at 6:24 p.m. on Monday, said the Sheriff's Department. The second fire was reported at 8:25 p.m. and the third at 8:35 p.m. Three dwellings were in flames within a short time of each other, and all within a one-mile radius.

One dwelling was vacant, one was lived in, and one was still furnished but with no live-in occupants. The fires were located at McBryar, Porter and Hartline roads.

The Sheriff's Office Investigative Division along with Sheriff Cross were called out to the scenes. Investigators will work closely with fire investigators as the string of fires is deemed suspicious.

Sheriff Cross expresses his condolences to the families who lost their properties and commends Dade's volunteer services for their hard work and dedication to the community.

"I have my best working the case, and hopefully soon we will have answers for these property owners," said the sheriff.

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