Notorious Lee County drug dealer caught by US Marshals

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – An accused drug dealer named one of Lee County’s top 10 most wanted was arrested Thursday by the United States Marshals after being on the run from drug trafficking charges since January, Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers said Friday.

Joel Mercado, 33, is facing charges for two counts of trafficking cocaine and for failure to appear for a felony offense. He has been arrested for drug sales as far back as 2001, according to jail records.

Mercado sent authorities on a six-hour chase after a tip was submitted Thursday morning. U.S. Marshals arrested him around 3:30 p.m.

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