Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa police sweep brings 30 arrests

Law officers arrest Sebastian Scaife near 29th and 31st on charges of selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer. The effort continues today.


Law officers arrest Sebastian Scaife near 29th and 31st on charges of selling crack cocaine to an undercover officer. The effort continues today.

TAMPA — Sebastian Scaife used every curse word imaginable to proclaim his innocence as Tampa police searched his pockets behind an unmarked car.

"It wasn't me," he shouted.

But officers said just seconds before they swooped in, he sold $20 worth of crack cocaine — stored, they believe, in his rectum.

Scaife, 45, was one of more than 30 people arrested Thursday night in a joint operation between Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and the Tampa Police Department.

Operation "Nowhere to Run" targeted drug dealers and people with warrants for economic crimes such as robbery, burglary and grand theft.

Police expected to arrest more people as the operation, which began Thursday, continues through tonight.

Tampa Capt. John Newman said between October and December every year, police see a spike in crimes of opportunity.

"This November we've had a 19 percent increase, I think," Newman said.

Police hope the operation will get people off the streets who commit property crimes and decrease the calls the department receives about break-ins and stolen Christmas gifts.

"In a week we'll sit down and talk about what we did, what we liked and what we didn't like to streamline the process," Newman said. "Hopefully, we can get something like this going monthly."

On Thursday, the parking lot of Net Park, on the corner of Hillsborough Avenue and 56th Street became a mobile booking station as 40 law enforcement officials popped in and out with suspects.

By 5 p.m., officers had arrested 17 people with outstanding warrants and then they started the drug buys.

Officer Todd Stevens said the operations helped out the narcotics unit with much needed manpower.

"We usually have six or seven guys, but it's great to have 10 to 14 guys when you get into a foot chase," he said.

Stevens' undercover unit came upon Scaife at 29th Street and E Lake Avenue.

A minute after his encounter with an undercover officer, police cars roared down every side street, cutting him off in a grassy lot.

Residents came out of homes to watch Scaife being cuffed. As he protested loudly, officers learned it would not be Scaife's first visit to jail.

His arrest record includes charges of possession of cocaine, carrying a concealed knife, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Robbyn Mitchell can be reached at (813) 226-3373 or

Tampa police sweep brings 30 arrests 12/04/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas sheriff's corporal had racist, sexist, pornographic content on his cell phone

    Public Safety

    LARGO — A Pinellas County sheriff's corporal resigned recently after an investigation into an alleged extramarital affair revealed a trove of racist, sexist and pornographic images on his personal cell phone.

    Shawn Pappas, 46, resigned as a training division corporal from the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed a trove of offensive images and videos on his phone. This photo was taken as a screenshot from one of the videos released by the Sheriff's Office that Pappas filmed while on duty. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine reflects on the news from the Congressional Budget Office analysis that could imperil GOP leaders' hopes of pushing their health care the plan through the chamber this week, Tuesday, on Capitol Hill in Washington. [AP photo]
  3. Review: Dan Auerbach, Benjamin Booker plumb the past for inspiration on new albums

    Music & Concerts

    It didn't take Benjamin Booker long to get lumped in with the greats. The Tampa-raised singer-songwriter's 2014 self-titled blues-punk debut brought widespread acclaim, not to mention an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, a tour with Jack White and sessions with Mavis Staples.

    The cover of Benjamin Booker's new album "Witness." Credit: ATO Records
  4. Fourth of July in Tampa Bay: parades, hot dog parties, concerts and more things to do


    Looking for things to do on the Fourth of July in Tampa Bay? There is no shortage of patriotic events, from the Hot Dog Party concerts and eating contest in Tampa, to the parades in Land O' Lakes and Safety Harbor, to the swinging dance party at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine arts, there's an abundance of things to do …

    The annual Independence Day parade in Brandon kicks off at 10 a.m. on July 4 at 101 E Lumsden Road. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times (2015)]
  5. Pasco deputies investigate vandalism at Crystal Springs Cemetery (w/video)


    CRYSTAL SPRINGS — Pasco County deputies are looking for one or more suspects linked to vandalism of two grave sites in this community's small cemetery.

    An above-ground tomb disturbed by one or more suspects, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.