After seven months on the run from authorities, a Florida man with a nearly decade-long criminal past was arrested in Mahwah Saturday, Police Chief James Batelli said Monday.
Cody Howell, 26, was a fugitive when the US Marshals Service and Mahwah Police Department arrested him in the Super 8 Hotel on Route 17, according to authorities.
Lee County, Fla., Police had been looking for Howell since April, when he was allegedly involved in a DWI crash that left one person seriously injured, Batelli said. Howell was also wanted on an unanswered cocaine distribution charge, police said.
Howell’s criminal history dates back to 2004, when the then-18-year-old was arrested on robbery charges after holding up a Florida shopkeeper, Batelli said.
Since then, Howell had been arrested on aggravated assault with a firearm, resisting arrest, and eluding police charges, and had failed to appear in court several times, Batelli said. Howell was released last December after serving a three-year stint in a Florida jail, police said.
Though Batelli declined to say how authorities knew to look for Howell in Mahwah, he did say police are unsure of whether or not he has any connection to the area. His last known address was in Cape Coral, Fla., police said.
“He knew he was wanted in the state of Florida and was trying to avoid authorities,” Batelli said.
Howell is being held at the Bergen County Jail awaiting extradition to Florida.