NEWBERRY ‒ Rakheem Tavares Hoyt, 28, was arrested on Monday, April 10, in Newberry and charged with selling drugs near two Newberry churches.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies surrounded Hoyt’s vehicle in the 500 block of Northwest 252nd Street at about 6:10 p.m. and arrested him on an active warrant in Alachua County. Hoyt had reportedly run from a deputy earlier, leading to the presence of more deputies surrounding the vehicle Hoyt was in at the time of his arrest.

A search incident to arrest reportedly produced two bags of suspected narcotics located in his front right jacket pocket and a bundle of U.S. currency located in his front left pants pocket. One bag weighed 7.8 grams and was field tested presumptive positive for crack cocaine. The second bag weighed 14.8 grams and the substance field tested presumptive positive for synthetic substitute cathinones (bath salts). The cash was bundled in a manner consistent with narcotic sales.

The incident took place within approximately 498 feet from Jones Temple Church of God by Faith and approximately 651 feet from Bethel AME Church.

Hoyt has been charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000 feet of a place of worship and possession of trafficking quantities of phenethylamines. He also had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear at a hearing for a charge of driving without a valid license.

Hoyt has a juvenile criminal history, along with three adult felony convictions (none violent) and 28 misdemeanor convictions (none violent). He has served a three-year state prison term for burglary and selling cocaine and was released in March 2021. Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $250,100.

Hoyt remains in the Alachua County Jail.

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