He had a shotgun and a badge. But he was a fake Hillsborough deputy, say real deputies

The 30-year-old Seffner man claimed he was an undercover “narcotics officer,” according to the Hillsborough County Sherrif’s Office.
Travas Nelson Strickland, 30, faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [HCSO]
Travas Nelson Strickland, 30, faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [HCSO]
Published July 23

DOVER — A 30-year-old, shotgun-wielding man posed as an undercover Hillsborough sheriff’s deputy on Monday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Now Travas Nelson Strickland faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

The incident took place just after 12 p.m. Monday in a rural area along the 14000 block of Bevlin Acres, near the intersection of N Dover Road and E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

A group of people told deputies they approached Strickland to ask why he was there on the parcel.

Strickland told them he was an undercover sheriff’s “narcotics officer,” the agency said. He showed them a handgun and badge.

Then Strickland went to his vehicle, got out a shotgun and started loading it while the barrel was pointed at the witnesses, according to the Sheriff’s Office. The witnesses wrote down his tag number as he drove off, then called for help. Deputies then found and arrested Strickland.

Strickland, of Seffner, was freed from the Hillsborough County jail on Tuesday after posting $6,000 bail, records show.

No other details about the incident were released by the Sheriff’s Office.

Contact Kavitha Surana at @ksurana6 or 727-893-8149. Follow @ksurana6.

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