60-year-old man arrested for “1998 Tampa rape case” through DNA on cigarette

1998 Tampa rape case" through DNA on cigarette


TAMPA, FLORIDA: According to the reports, a 60-year-old Marion County man has been arrested for a rape in Tampa that happened about two decades ago.

James Byrd, then 48, raped a 22-year-old woman at the intersection of 50th and Washington Tampa on March 8, 1998. The reports say the victim now lives out of the state. However, she could never forget the terrifying incident that happened to her.

Records say on March 8, 1998, Byrd offered to give the woman a ride in his small blue pick-up truck. The woman was walking close to Columbus Drive and Interstate 4 and she agreed to the ride. The reports say Byrd then drove her to the area of E Washington Street and S 50th Street, where U.S. 41 now meets the Selmon Expressway.

Last month a DNA was collected from a cigarette in Marion County that matched with the DNA that was collected in 1998. Although Byrd denies truly observing or having intercourse with the victim, Tampa police say DNA doesn’t lie! Police also said the DNA linked Byrd to two different assaults that occurred in Hillsborough County in 1999.

“Any victim of a crime deserves closure,” said Eddy Durkin of the Tampa Police Department. “This one took 22 years.” “We always want a quick closure to a case, but we are never going to stop an investigation until the person who committed the crime is held accountable,” said Durkin.

“In 1998, they were very detailed collecting the evidence, keeping the evidence,” Durkin added. “We were able to use that now, as technology continues to advance, we can make better, more detailed connections.” “Hopefully it gives her a sense of closure to what happened to her.”

Officials said Byrd is charged with sexual battery and armed kidnapping.


17, 20 and 30-year-old arrested for armed robbery in Ruskin

RUSKIN, Fla.: According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, after a man was beaten and robbed at gunpoint at a place about 8:30 p.m. at a home in the 500 block of Seventh Avenue NE.

17, 20 and 30-year-old arrested for armed robbery

Deputies said three men were arrested for the incident. The reports say the victim informed the sheriff’s office and deputies were responded to the scene. Records say the deputies heard several gunshots that were fired toward them. No officers were injured.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said a 20-year-old identified as Gerardo Rios faces one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation. Also, Rios faces six counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

A 30-year-old Isaiah Hernandez faces charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and petit theft and robbery with a firearm. The 17-year-old, whose identity has not released because of the age, faces one count each of robbery with a firearm and petit theft and faces six counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.



23-year-old rapper recorded music, then fatally shot 2 men in Tampa

The recently released reports say a Florida rapper spent an evening recording music in a makeshift studio and then fatally shot two men who were with him.

23-year-old rapper recorded music, then

The 23-year-old Billy Bennett Adams III was arrested Saturday on two counts of premeditated first-degree murder with a firearm and one count of armed burglary of a structure. The records say Adams shot the victims in a backyard shed used as a recording studio in the suburb of Lutz.

Chad Chronister, Hillsborough County Sheriff, said Adams and one of the victims identified as members of the Crips gang. And the shooting was probably related to a gang feud.

“This was a violent execution this suspect performed, and although the attack was clearly targeted, we will not allow gang-related disputes to disrupt the comfort and safety of innocent residents in any of our communities,” Chronister said. “It is clear that this suspect had no regard for human life, and now he will face the consequences for his actions.”

Deputies said Adams was jailed in Tampa without bail Sunday.


BREAKING: 1 dead and 7 other injured in drive-by shooting at Tampa basketball court

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s said one person is dead and several others were hurt after a drive-by shooting at a Tampa basketball court.

shooting at Tampa basketball court

While investigating deputies found surveillance images of a vehicle. A 2008 silver, four-door Infinity vehicle which was stolen on Nov 5 was used in the shooting.

Deputies interrogated the witnesses. Reports say a large group of teenagers and young adults were on the basketball court when the silver Infinity drove by and opened fire.

“At some point, individuals on the sidewalk were also shot,” said Major Frank Losat with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. “We don’t know if they were related to either group. We don’t know if this is a random act of violence or the people on the basketball court were the targets during this shooting.”

Deputies said a 36-year-old man was pronounced dead in the shooting. And the other seven people have suffered gunshots injuries and are in the hospital.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200.

Police arrested more than 40 men in Hillsborough County

Deputies arrested more than 40 men ranged in age from 20 to 76 years old. On Wednesday, Sheriff Chad Chronister said more than 40 men were arrested during the undercover operation in Hillsborough County.

Police arrested more than 40 men

“Prostitution should not be viewed as a victimless crime. The person on the other end of these transactions could be someone who has been forced into human trafficking,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “I want to make it clear to those who want to purchase sex here in our community, you will be held accountable for your actions.”

Officials said among those men, a 37-year-old Isaac Jermaine Thomas, also faces charges of fleeing and attempting to elude an officer after he tried to take off in his vehicle as they went in to arrest him.

Reports say the agency wants to increase its awareness campaign on human trafficking, considering Super Bowl LV is still set to be held in Tampa next year.


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32-year-old Tampa woman made 42,000 fraudulent Amazon returns

A 32-year-old Tampa woman made 42,000 fraudulent returns from 31 different Amazon accounts. Reports show she faces a grand theft charge.

 42,000 fraudulent Amazon returns

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, they arrested Hoai Tibma, 32. Records show, between March 2015 and August 2020, she reused prepaid shipping labels created for canceled orders and applied them to other Amazon returns.

In the investigation, it was found that the scheme made it appear Tibma paid for her shipping costs on the returns, but she didn’t. In the end, they said she received more than $100,000 in reimbursements to her name.

“This woman took advantage of a loophole she discovered in the return process,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister in a statement. “Through investigative means, our Economic Crimes detectives were able to quickly locate and apprehend the suspect. She was arrested without incident.”


Amazon issued a statement:

“Systems and processes to detect suspicious behavior and we have teams that investigate and take action quickly. We identified this threat and cooperated with law enforcement to hold this bad actor accountable.”


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Polk County deputy raises funds for Speech and Hearing Center

Lt. Jim Ostojic has been a Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputy for 26 years. He is doing his best to raise money for the Speech and Hearing Center in Polk County.

Polk County deputy raises funds

He always wanted to be a cop. “I told my parents I wanted to be a police officer,” recalled Lt. Jim Ostojic. “Even since I was a child, I use to play and watch all the cops shows, like ‘Chips’ and stuff like that.”

He’s participating in the Mr. Central Florida campaign, an annual fundraiser for the Speech and Hearing Center.

“My daughter got tubes in her ears when she was younger and her friend actually used the Speech and Hearing [Center] services and that’s why it’s important to me because I saw what it has done for him,” Ostojic said.

Lt. Ostojic has already raised more than $30,000. “I feel, as a law enforcement officer, that we help the children of the community because that’s what we do every day when we go out there and make contact with them,” he said.

Everyone is supporting Lt. Ostojic for this wonderful initiative. Records show he donated more than 150 hours of his own time for this campaign.


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6 months pregnant woman along with her baby killed in a domestic violence

As per the investigation, Jay Leonard Rodriguez, 39, attacked the woman in her home and caused the death of her and her unborn baby.

 woman along with her baby killed
Jay Leonard Rodriguez

The deputies responded to the incident that happened around 3:25 a.m. on the 2200 block of E. Emma Street. Domestic disturbance with innocent women had left her with life-threatening injuries. She was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where police said she died from her injuries. Police said hospital staff delivered the baby that died soon after.

According to the recently released reports, Tampa police arrested Jay Leonard Rodriguez after he allegedly killed a pregnant woman and her baby early Saturday morning. Rodriguez physically attacked the woman and caused both victims to die.

Records say Rodriguez was arrested at his home on two counts of second-degree murder and also faces a charge of violating his probation on past charges of armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.


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