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Dan Sullivan, Times Staff Writer

Dan Sullivan

Dan Sullivan writes about crime, law enforcement and public safety for the Tampa Bay Times. Since joining the Times in 2010, he has covered unsolved crimes, most-wanted fugitives, gun control, and Florida's death row, among other topics. A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, he is a 2006 graduate of the University of Tampa, where he earned a degree in writing with a focus in journalism.

Phone: (813) 226-3386

Email: dsullivan@tampabay.com

Twitter: @TimesDan

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  1. Former assistant chief among handful of top Tampa police promotions

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — A former assistant chief who took a voluntary demotion three years ago to become a captain has been promoted to the rank of major, one of several personnel changes announced Thursday by the Tampa Police Department.

    Marc Hamlin will oversee the department's special operations division, which consists of a wide range of specialty teams, including the SWAT, marine and aviation units, among others. He previously served as one of two assistant chiefs before stepping down shortly before the city hosted the Republican National Convention in 2012. The move, which police said Hamlin requested, was for family reasons. ...

  2. Outlaw motorcycle gangs still prevalent in Florida, Tampa Bay area

    Crime

    TAMPA — In the 1980s and '90s, the Outlaws Motorcycle Club was the alpha biker gang in Florida, responsible for drug dealing and gun running, decapitations and torture. Then its leadership was decimated by a series of prosecutions, and the gang seemed to slip quietly out of sight.

    But after the May 17 massacre in Waco, Texas, when a battle involving as many as six biker gangs resulted in nine deaths and 170 arrests, a disquieting truth emerged: Biker gangs remain dangerous and widespread, including here in the Sunshine State....

    Members of the Outlaws motorcycle club congregate outside what is known as their hangout at a St. Petersburg house.
  3. Polk carjacking suspect found dead in St. Petersburg

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A man who had been the subject of a manhunt that started Friday with a carjacking in Polk County committed suicide Saturday morning in St. Petersburg, authorities said.

    Sloan Aaron Maybeck, 44, was found dead about 6 a.m. behind a fishing bait shop and a 7-Eleven store at 6161 Fourth St. N. He appeared to have hanged himself with a belt, police said.

    Maybeck had been sought since late Friday afternoon, when he stole a car from a Bartow convenience store, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office. Inside the car were a 1-year-old baby and a 30-year-old autistic man. Witnesses told sheriff's deputies that Maybeck had been at the store in the 3800 block of E State Road 60 in Bartow for a few hours. He was seen carrying a suitcase....

    Sloan Aaron Maybeck, 44, was found dead early Saturday in St. Petersburg.
  4. Tampa police release video of Waters Ave. gas station carjacking

    Crime

    TAMPA — Tampa police are trying to identify two people who carjacked a man at Tuesday at a Waters Avenue gas station.

    A video of the crime, captured on a surveillance camera, was released Wednesday.

    Edgardo Luis Cruz Medina, 36, parked his car next to a gas pump about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Sunoco station at 1403 W Waters Ave., Tampa police said. As he walked inside to pay for gas, two men ran up to the car. One hopped into the driver's seat, while the other tried to open a passenger door....

  5. DUI officers say they were told to look for lawyer in Schnitt-vs.-Bubba case

    Civil

    CLEARWATER — The former head of the Tampa police DUI unit told officers on two different nights to look for C. Philip Campbell, the attorney whose arrest in 2013 touched off a scandal that threatens to cost three rival attorneys their law licenses, officers testified Friday.

    One was Jan. 23, 2013, the night of Campbell's arrest. But one was more than a month before, in November 2012, when an officer said he went looking for Campbell at the direction of then-police Sgt. Ray Fernandez....

    Retired Hillsborough Circuit Judge James Arnold, who presided over the defamation trial, testified on Friday.
  6. Man charged with attempted murder in March shooting in Tampa

    Crime

    TAMPA — A man was jailed Wednesday on an attempted murder charge in connection with a shooting two months ago in east Tampa.

    Anthony C. Edwards, 36, was arrested on a warrant Thursday afternoon charging him with the March 1 shooting of John Render, 30, at Rim Masters, a business at 4709 E Hillsborough Ave.

    It was unclear what led police to tie Edwards to the shooting and why it took more than two months for an arrest....

  7. Eric Ward taking low-key approach in first days as Tampa police chief

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — They call Eric Ward the quiet storm. And if his first few days as Tampa's police chief are any indication, that will sum up his approach to the job.

    Ward, who became the department's interim chief last week after the retirement of Jane Castor, says he has spent his first days examining all aspects of his agency's operations. That includes meeting with every supervisor, from sergeants and lieutenants on up. He has mostly stayed out of the public spotlight, but on Wednesday he answered questions in a blitz of one-on-one meetings with local news reporters....

    Eric Ward at a May 1 ceremony introducing him as Tampa's new police chief.
  8. Detectives hope for new leads as two Tampa cold cases mark 25 years

    Crime

    TAMPA — Cynthia Wheaton was 28 and helped manage the popular Tex Mex Cantina on the Courtney Campbell Causeway. Cheryl McMullen was 33 and worked as the night manager at Bennigan's in Carrollwood.

    Twenty-five years ago this week, both women were killed. Despite exhaustive investigations, their cases remain unsolved.

    The pair are linked by little more than what they did for a living and when and how they died. Despite the similarities, investigators think the crimes were the work of separate killers....

    Cynthia Wheaton, 28, worked at Tex Mex Cantina in Tampa.
  9. Temple Terrace crash kills two, including 7-year-old girl

    Accidents

    TEMPLE TERRACE — A 7-year-old girl died after she was thrown from a car Saturday night in a crash that also killed the driver of a pickup.

    The accident left Desiree Gilley, who was finishing first grade at Lewis Elementary School, brain dead, clinging to life for hours at Tampa General Hospital before her family decided to take her off life support, said her father, Donald Gilley.

    Jeffrey Lamar Wade, 49, the driver of the pickup, died at the scene. ...

    Doctors told the family of Desiree Gilley, 7, that she had no brain activity and was unlikely to survive.
  10. Police: Gangs to blame for two Saturday shootings in Tampa

    Crime

    TAMPA — A gang rivalry was to blame for a pair of shootings in the Sulphur Springs area Saturday that left one man wounded, according to Tampa police. Three men were arrested the same afternoon.

    Officers first received a call of shots being fired about 3 p.m. near some apartments at 8404 N 18th St. From interviews of witnesses, they learned that someone in a black sport utility vehicle had driven past the apartments and fired a gun from a window, police said. The shots were aimed at Lamalcodel Freeman, 18, who was described as initially not cooperative with officers....

  11. Man accused of raping Brandon woman less than a day after prison release

    Crime

    BRANDON — A man who left state prison Friday was back in jail Saturday, accused of sexually assaulting a Brandon woman who had given him a place to stay.

    Ryan Wesley Reese was the subject of a brief manhunt Saturday after the woman escaped and notified authorities. He was arrested on sexual battery and kidnapping charges.

    Reese, 39, was released from prison Friday after serving eight months for a probation violation. It was the latest in a lengthy string of prison stints that Reese has served over the years for convictions ranging from burglary and grand theft to false imprisonment and intimidating a witness....

    Ryan Wesley Reese raped the Brandon woman who let him sleep at her apartment, officials say.
  12. Tough love and discipline shaped Tampa police Chief Eric Ward (w/video)

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — As a young man, Eric Ward had much in common with other black men who grow up in east Tampa and struggle to make it out.

    He was raised by a single mother. Part of his childhood was spent in public housing. As a young teen, his mother recalls, he had a less-than-cordial encounter with a Tampa police officer.

    So what made the difference for Ward? How did he end up being named this week as Tampa's next police chief?...

    Eric Ward will take over as Tampa police chief when Chief Jane Castor retires May 8.
  13. Bob Buckhorn names Eric Ward Tampa's next police chief (w/video)

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — At a time when police relationships with the black community are driving a national conversation, Mayor Bob Buckhorn on Thursday made Eric Ward, an African-American and east Tampa native, the city's next police chief.

    Ward, a 26-year Tampa police veteran, will succeed Chief Jane Castor upon her May 8 retirement.

    "Eric Ward is the right person at the right time for the Tampa Police Department," Buckhorn said, adding that he represents a "new generation of leadership" at the 1,000-officer agency....

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, left, introduces Eric Ward as the city's new police chief. Between them is retiring Police Chief Jane Castor. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   Times]
  14. Hillsborough gang members sentenced to prison in racketeering case

    Crime

    TAMPA — Two members of a Hillsborough County street gang that was the target of a 10-month investigation two years ago have been sentenced to prison after being convicted of racketeering charges.

    Joseph Rondon, 26, and his brother, Jonathan Rondon, 29, were members of the Nortenos street gang, also known as Norte 14. On Tuesday, they were sentenced to 15 and seven years in prison, respectively....

  15. Tampa man accused of forcing 16-year-old girl into prostitution

    Crime

    TAMPA — A monthslong sex trafficking investigation has led to the arrest of a Tampa man who is accused of forcing a 16-year-old girl into prostitution, according to police.

    Dewey James Hendrix, 38, faces charges of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, forcing another to become a prostitute, battery, and deriving support from proceeds of prostitution.

    Detectives have been investigating the relationship between Hendrix and the 16-year-old for some time, police said. Her identity was not released due to the nature of the investigation. The two have been in a relationship as boyfriend and girlfriend for seven months, according to a police report....

    Hendrix