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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. Ruskin gyrocopter pilot says postal officials are telling him not to talk to media

    National

    TAMPA — The Ruskin mail carrier who last week flew a gyrocopter into restricted airspace over Washington, D.C., to make a political statement says he has been put on paid leave with the U.S. Postal Service with orders not to discuss his story with the media.

    "I was informed by the acting postmaster — and he sounded like he was reading from a script — that I was on administrative leave pending an investigation," Hughes wrote in an email to the Tampa Bay Times. "I am NOT allowed on postal property without advance permission and I can only enter the building through the front if I do visit with permission. (This injunction always precedes a termination.) I asked about the nature of the administrative leave — it's with pay BUT I'm not allowed to talk to the media AT ALL."...

    Doug Hughes faces reporters at his Ruskin home early Sunday. He was arrested Wednesday in Washington, D.C., for landing on the lawn of the Capitol.
  2. Man killed in shooting at West Tampa home

    Crime

    TAMPA — George Reyes stood clutching the open front door of his home Saturday evening, recounting what he knew about his brother's death.

    He spoke of two men, their faces covered with bandanas, who came in at 4 a.m. through a chain-link gate and up the front steps of the Chestnut Street duplex where he lived. He spoke of guns and a demand for money, a request that stalled between the robber's English and his brother's Spanish....

    Police found a 54-year-old man dead of a gunshot wound at a home on the 3000 block of W Chestnut Street Saturday.
  3. Hillsborough deputies investigate I-4 shooting that injured two

    Crime

    SEFFNER — A man and woman were taken to a hospital early Friday after someone fired a gun into their car as they drove on Interstate 4 near Seffner.

    Kareem Spann, 20, was driving east on the interstate just after midnight with Antani Lise, 27, and Antonio Diaz, 24, according to Hillsborough sheriff's deputies.

    As they passed the Interstate 75 interchange, another car pulled alongside them. Someone in the other car fired several gunshots before speeding away, authorities said....

  4. Once trusted Plant City financial adviser now accused of massive fraud

    Crime

    TAMPA — With the nation's economic crisis as her backdrop, Paula Albertson became a recurring face on local TV news shows, offering expert advice on what people should do with their money. The Plant City financial planner even appeared on the Fox News Channel, dishing about new credit card regulations on Your World with Neil Cavuto.

    In 2009, she sat in a WTSP-Ch. 10 studio for a segment on bankruptcy, telling two smiling news anchors about the importance of consulting with a reputable financial adviser....

    Plant City financial adviser Paula Albertson, 53, at her booking on grand theft charges.
  5. Tampa police major to lead Fort Pierce police

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — One of the Tampa Police Department's top commanders is leaving her post to become police chief for the city of Fort Pierce.

    Diane Hobley-Burney, a Tampa native and 27-year police veteran, said Tuesday that she is finalizing a contract to lead the small department on Florida's Treasure Coast.

    "It's a mixture of emotions," she said of her departure. "One of my proudest achievements has been the support I received from the officers. You cannot ask for a greater acknowledgement of success."...

  6. Deputies: Georgia woman drove to Tampa to kill man

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Georgia woman drove to Tampa to kill her ex-boyfriend.

    That's according to Hillsborough sheriff's deputies, who arrested Jamie Dianne Latham after they say she attacked a man Tuesday at a Holiday Inn Express near the Florida State Fairgrounds.

    The man, Davis Johnson, 45, is disabled and confined to a wheelchair. He and Latham, 38, used to date, deputies said. In recent days, Latham sent Johnson text messages and emails threatening to kill him, according to the arrest report. When she found out he was in Tampa, she headed south, they said....

  7. Police seek sex offender in West Tampa woman's homicide

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Homicide detectives are looking for a registered sex offender who may know about a woman found dead in her West Tampa home Monday.

    Tampa police are asking the public to help locate James Ware, 56, the live-in boyfriend of Denise Cogmon, 60. A concerned relative found Cogmon dead in her home at 2108 La Salle St. Monday morning.

    Ware could be driving Cogmon's missing car, a gold 1996 Toyota Camry with the Florida tag BXY-A96....

    Friends, family and neighbors of Denise Cogmon pray after the 60-year-old woman was found dead in her West Tampa home Monday.
  8. Report: Apryl Foster was drunk at time of accidental drowning death

    Accidents

    BRANDON — Apryl Foster, whose disappearance in February sparked a high-profile 10-day search, was drunk when she drove down a boat ramp into a Brandon lake.

    A medical examiner's report released Friday shows that Foster had a 0.18 blood-alcohol level when her body was found Feb. 22. She also had traces of marijuana in her blood. Her cause of death was listed as drowning. The manner of death — an accident....

    Apryl Foster’s body was found just over a half mile away from where she lived in Brandon. 
  9. Man shot dead as U.S. Marshals serve warrant at Carrollwood home

    Crime

    TAMPA — Federal agents shot and killed a man Tuesday night while trying to arrest him at a Carrollwood home.

    Members of the U.S. Marshals Service raided the home at 16040 Grass Lake Drive about 8 p.m. in search of Jeremy James Anderson, who was wanted in both Marion and Lee counties on sex crime charges, authorities said.

    Gunfire was exchanged inside the house, authorities said. When it ended, Anderson lay dead....

    Federal authorities shot and killed a man Tuesday night while serving an arrest warrant in Carrollwood. Family members at the scene Wednesday afternoon said the man killed is Jeremy James Anderson, 36, of the Ocala area. Anderson’s mother, Miriam Zimmerman, said family friends contacted her Tuesday night and said her son had been shot and killed by law enforcement officers. 
  10. Man accused of molesting boy has history of similar accusations

    Crime

    TAMPA — A man wearing no clothes broke into a Sulphur Springs home early Sunday, walked into a bedroom, and slipped under the covers with a 10-year-old boy.

    Police arrested Ernest Reed Johnson, 25, later that morning. Officers were called about 4:30 a.m. after the boy's mother came into the room and found him naked in bed next to her sleeping son, authorities said.

    The woman's screams jolted Johnson out of bed, police said. She began hitting him as he dashed out the bedroom window and ran to his nearby home, at 1912 E Water Ave. Police dogs later tracked his scent there....

    Ernest Reed Johnson, 25, of Tampa was arrested Sunday.
  11. Arrest warrant issued in Apollo Beach shooting

    Crime

    APOLLO BEACH — Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Tuesday's fatal shooting in Apollo Beach.

    The warrant is for Peter Scott Drossos, 29, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Ronald McCord.

    Sheriff's deputies were called about 9 p.m. Tuesday to a report of a shooting at Pelican Apartments at 1007 Apollo Beach Boulevard. When they arrived, they found McCord, 49, wounded. He died at a local hospital....

    Peter Scott Drossos, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of George Ronald McCord. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  12. Tampa man charged with attempted murder in girlfriend's stabbing

    Crime

    TAMPA — A man is facing an attempted murder charge after he stabbed his girlfriend eight times during an argument Thursday night in their east Tampa home, according to police.

    A neighbor in the duplex at 2926 N 17th St. heard sounds of a struggle coming from next door at about 10 p.m., police said. The neighbor forced his way inside and found Jim Hunt, 44, attacking Zakie Rogers, 41, with a knife, police said....

  13. Tampa police arrest man in Carmine's restaurant shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — Police have arrested a man in a shooting that left four people wounded Saturday outside Carmine's restaurant in Ybor City.

    Jihad Hakim Amos, 20, faces a charge of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He was arrested at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at his home at 9411 Chalet Drive, near Busch Gardens.

    Detectives made the arrest based on information from witnesses who identified Amos, police said. He was booked in a Hillsborough County jail and held without bail....

    Jihad Amos is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
  14. Four children accused of arson at Tampa home

    Fire

    TAMPA — Fire officials have arrested four children ranging in age from 12 to 14 on charges they set fire to a north Tampa house that was being renovated.

    The kids, two boys and two girls, broke into the house Tuesday evening at 4620 E Serena Drive, according to Tampa police. Inside, they used white spray paint to write graffiti on the walls. Officers also later found several areas on the floors and ceilings that had been burned, according to a police report....

  15. Man dead in Apollo Beach shooting embraced life, family says

    Crime

    APOLLO BEACH — Those who knew George Ronald McCord say he was a man who embraced life. They speak of him as hardworking, a competitive athlete, an outdoorsman who loved to fish the beaches of Tampa Bay.

    He savored his freedom, they said, because an unusual brush with the law deprived him of it for so long.

    McCord, known as "Ronbo" to his family and friends, was killed Tuesday night when someone shot him during an argument at an Apollo Beach apartment complex. Hillsborough sheriff's investigators were looking for his killer but had made no arrests late Wednesday....