Thursday, April 19, 2018
Public safety

Two suspects in child sex sting had surprising pasts in Pasco

TAMPA — On five days in the past week, law enforcement agents logged onto social media sites and online chat rooms, pretending to be teenagers, or in some cases, their parents. From a rented home, they interacted with people who, authorities say, wanted sex from teens.

The agents, still disguised, agreed with the suspects on a meeting place. The suspects drove to a specific location where they believed they would have sex with an underage male or female.

The sting, dubbed Operation e-Guardian, netted the arrests of 15 men from around the Tampa Bay area.

Two of them were from Pasco County.

David Yoder and Robert Frank's names have both been in the news before.

Yoder's face appeared on national news in 2003 after his daughter, a Tampa native and Chamberlain High School graduate working on a doctorate degree at Louisiana State University, became the last victim of serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Her body was found by a fisherman in the marshy Whiskey Bay area of the Atchafalaya River Basin. She died of asphyxiation.

"Let's get on with the trial and execution," David Yoder told the St. Petersburg Times from his Dade City home on the night Lee was caught a decade ago. "It's just a tremendous feeling of elation that this is over. Now we can move forward. There won't be any more victims."

Lee was suspected of killing seven women and was ultimately convicted of killing two (neither was Yoder's daughter). Lee was sentenced to life in prison for one of the murders and death for the second.

Robert Frank first made news almost a year ago when he was arrested on 15 charges of violating Florida Wildlife Commission rules and two charges of possessing a venomous reptile without a license.

FWC officials found more than 100 various reptiles in Frank's bedroom and a shed in his yard at 38250 Ruth Ave., in Zephyrhills. Some were dead. Others had inadequate food and water, a report states. He was licensed to own none of them.

Frank, 45, told the Times he just forgot about the licenses, which have to be renewed yearly. He said he didn't have his snakes in locked and labeled containers, which accounted for some for the violations.

"I'm a normal person," he said in November. "I work a normal job. I like to have (the reptiles) because no one else can. I keep it all to myself."

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

Comments
Deputies: Schwettman student charged in threat on River Ridge High

Deputies: Schwettman student charged in threat on River Ridge High

NEW PORT RICHEY—A Schwettman Education Center student was arrested Wednesday after he threatened an attack on River Ridge High School, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.The student, 15, is facing a charge of falsely reporting a bomb or f...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Teen, 16, struck by motorcycle while crossing Ulmerton Road

Teen, 16, struck by motorcycle while crossing Ulmerton Road

A 16-year-old was injured Thursday morning after being struck by a motorcycle on Ulmerton Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Around 6 a.m., Saul Paulino walked into the path of the motorcycle driven by Austin Montgomery, 23, in the outermo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Deputies: Seminole man burglarizes house, then sets it on fire

Deputies: Seminole man burglarizes house, then sets it on fire

SEMINOLE — A Seminole man was arrested Wednesday night after detectives linked him to the burglary of a house that was later set on fire.Homeowner Lance Clipper, 52, reported the burglary when he arrived at his house, 8350 Flame Vine Ave., around 2:4...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Teen, 16, killed in Hernando crash; 17-year-old critically injured

Teen, 16, killed in Hernando crash; 17-year-old critically injured

BROOKSVILLE — A 16-year-old boy was killed and a 17-year-old boy critically injured after their car was struck by a pick-up truck at the intersection of U.S. 19 and Country Road on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The cras...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Largo police release video as State Attorney clears officer in shooting

Largo police release video as State Attorney clears officer in shooting

LARGO — The Pasco-Pinellas state attorney cleared a Largo police officer who fatally shot a 30-year-old man last month.The letter from State Attorney Bernie McCabe said Officer Matthew Steiner was "in imminent fear for his life" during the March 23 e...
Published: 04/18/18
Six children hurt as school bus overturns in Hernando crash

Six children hurt as school bus overturns in Hernando crash

Alexander Segovia, 33, of Ocala, was hauling toilet paper in the 2017 truck south on I-75 and exited at S.R. 50, the FHP said. He was driving in the west outside lane, trooper said, when he failed to make a full stop at a red light, partially entered...
Published: 04/18/18
Deputies find $480,000 worth of marijuana in Valrico homes

Deputies find $480,000 worth of marijuana in Valrico homes

VALRICO — Five people were arrested Tuesday after Hillsborough sheriff’s deputies said they found $480,000 worth of marijuana in their homes.Deputies obtained search warrants for those locations and found 44 marijuana plants and six pounds of process...
Published: 04/18/18
Skydiver seriously injured at Zephyrhills’ Skydive City

Skydiver seriously injured at Zephyrhills’ Skydive City

ZEPHYRHILLS — A skydiver was reported to be in critical condition after an incident at Skydive City, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.The injured person was found near a pond and was flown to a hospital for medical treatment, the agency said.MOR...
Published: 04/18/18
He tried to hide in the swamp. But he couldn’t hide from a sheriff’s dog (w/video)

He tried to hide in the swamp. But he couldn’t hide from a sheriff’s dog (w/video)

A high-speed chase across two counties ended late Tuesday when a Pasco sheriff’s dog tracked down a Land O’Lakes man wanted for assaulting a Hernando sheriff’s deputy as he tried to hide by submerging himself in a swamp, according to the Pasco County...
Published: 04/18/18
Tampa fugitive, on run for 18 years, extradited from Dominican Republic

Tampa fugitive, on run for 18 years, extradited from Dominican Republic

TAMPA — A 76-year-old fugitive who has been on the run 18 years after skipping out on his court date has been extradited back to Hillsborough County to face charges.Jose Antonio Gonzalez was recently located and arrested in the Dominican Republic, de...
Published: 04/18/18