ATHENS — Jeff Cook, the Lake Oconee ticket broker on the run, was apprehended by Monroe County, Fla., police on U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys early Saturday morning.
“Apparently he was planning to waste away in Margaritaville,” Putnam County Sheriff Howard Stills said.
Cook, 56, was convicted in October of nine counts of theft and one count of selling tickets without a license after he failed to produce tickets to the 2017 Notre Dame game for clients who had paid for them. Cook was ordered to report to the Putnam County Jail by 9 a.m. Friday morning to begin serving a 180-day sentence, but did not show.
Now he’s facing much more jail time. Sills said Putnam County will be charging Cook with escape, which carries a sentence of 1 to 5 years. He also has another tickets charge coming his way.
“Because of the publicity surrounding this case, we heard from another man who said he paid for tickets to the LSU game and never received them,” Sills said. “So apparently Mr. Cook didn’t learn his lesson. I’m going to charge him for that one, too.”
Police were able to track down Cook after talking with his daughter, with whom he spent the night Thursday. Sills said she told officers her father said he was headed to Dothan to meet with his boss. He did not tell her anything about having to go to jail.
Sills entered Cook’s tag number into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer system. a Monroe County deputy spotted Cook’s vehicle via a tag reader on his cruiser just south of Marathon, Fla., on U.S. 1 at 6:05 a.m Saturday morning, Sills said. Cook was taken into custody by Officer Ian Douthirt and transported another 50 miles south to Key West, where he’ll await an extradition hearing.
“Now I’ve got to go down there and get him,” Sills said. “It’s gonna be sometime next week. He’s gonna have to spend a few days munching on sponge cake.”