A UGA-Notre Dame ticket scammer from Georgia apparently didn’t get a chance to look for his lost shaker of salt after he skipped town.
Authorities caught up with Jeffrey Martin Cook, 56, as he was headed to Key West early Saturday after he failed to report to serve 180 days at the Putnam County jail in Eatonton, said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills.
Cook was arrested last year on charges that included selling sports tickets without a license. He’s being held in Florida on a charge of fugitive from justice.
Cook spent the night with his daughter in Warner Robins after failing to report for jail at 9 a.m. Friday. He left early Saturday, telling his daughter that he needed to check in with his boss at a regional sales office in Dothan, Alabama, Sills said.
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Cook was pulled over and arrested at 5:42 a.m. on U.S. 1 by a Monroe County, Florida, deputy. Sills had placed Cook on a be-on-the-lookout bulletin through the National Crime Information Center. Cook was arrested not far below Marathon in the Florida Keys after the deputy’s tag reader alerted that Cook’s pickup was a wanted vehicle.
“He told the deputy he was just going down to Key West for a few days,” Sills said. “He’s munching on sponge cake, like Jimmy Buffett said, in the Margaritaville jail.”
Cook was jailed Saturday at the Monroe County, Florida, Detention Center in Key West and faces extradition back to Putnam County.
Additionally, the publicity around Cook’s flight generated a call from a man who says Cook sold him a ticket to a Georgia-LSU came, but never delivered, Sills said. The sheriff’s office will investigate that complaint, Sills said.
On Oct. 30, Cook pleaded guilty to nine counts of misdemeanor theft by taking in connection with the scam for coveted tickets for the September 2017 game between the University of Georgia and Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. Cook was sentenced to jail time, nine years on probation upon release and ordered to pay $8,250 in restitution, Sills said.
“We had originally received complaints from over 60 victims and he made restitution to a great many of those, but not to all of them,” Sills said.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.