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Review underway after inmate released from Brevard County Jail

Cedrick Gant turns himself in after mistaken release

Cedrick Gant

VIERA, Fla. – Authorities are investigating to find out how a 29-year-old man who told court officials he was in federal custody ended up released from the Brevard County Jail Complex in Sharpes. 

Cedrick Gant — who spent the Easter weekend out of custody — turned himself over to the U.S. Marshal’s office without incident on Monday, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

Gant, already detained but awaiting a final transfer to federal prison, was brought back to Brevard on a failure to appear in court warrant dating back to 2018.

During a first appearance on the warrant charge, Gant told the judge he was in federal custody but wanted to resolve the Brevard warrant on the loitering and prowling misdemeanor.

He also told the court that he failed to show up for the previous 2018 court appearance because he was in custody on another charge.

Gant scrawled the words "pled" in large letters, followed by the words, "in federal custody" on the arrest affidavit given to him at the jail.

Federal court records show Grant had been sentenced Feb. 11. He was sentenced by a U.S. District Judge for the Middle District to 23 years in federal prison as a result of pleading guilty to carjacking-related charges. Federal authorities said Gant was transported throughout the state to resolve other state charges. 
In September 2017, Gant used an assault rifle in an Apopka carjacking before leading police on a chase. He pled guilty to multiple felony carjacking charges in federal court in February. 

A Brevard prosecutor at the county court hearing agreed to resolve the case with a plea for time served and court costs. The judge accepted the plea and disposed of the case for the misdemeanor charge.

Typically, jail records will show 'holds' or orders to keep inmates in custody for other agencies. 

The court minutes from the initial appearance show Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Garagozlo made clear he was dealing only with the misdemeanor charge.

"You are ordered to serve two days in the Brevard County Jail. Credit for 2 days time served. The defendant is released for this charge only," the judge's statement from the court session reads. 

“The Court did not mistakenly release the defendant from custody,” said Todd Brown, spokesman for the state attorney’s office.

For an unknown reason, the federal hold was not marked on Gant's criminal record, Brevard County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tod Goodyear said. 

Federal court records show that there was a detainer in place which should have prevented Gant from being released.