TAMPA — A woman explained in court records this week why she robbed three Brandon banks within 30 minutes in May, netting more than $6,000.
She wanted to throw her daughter a graduation party.
That, and the rent was late.
Cindy Sanchez Carabeo, 50, of Valrico pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of interfering with interstate commerce by robbery, punishable by up to 20 years in prison....
TAMPA — His diagnosis came only this month. Incurable cancer. At 92, John F. Germany began to say his goodbyes.
Young lawyers and old friends dropped by to see him and his family gathered around.
But there were final instructions from the man who founded downtown Tampa's public library and remembered it in his waning hours, as he shared the beginnings of a plan to expose more children to books....
TAMPA — A Department of Veterans Affairs contractor sent dozens of veterans to consult with a Tampa doctor about disability claims this year, even as the Justice Department was trying to take away the doctor's license and send him to prison.
After inquiries by the Tampa Bay Times, the VA plans to take a fresh look at the claims of 57 veterans seen by Dr. Chuma Osuji "to ensure the veterans were accurately evaluated," said Karen Collins, public affairs officer at James A. Haley Hospital and Clinics....
TAMPA — Not long ago, an ABC Fine Wines & Spirits store in east Tampa got robbed. The robber and a clerk traded gunfire.
The wounded robber escaped.
Police later said the robber was one of ABC's own employees, from a South Tampa store.
That robber was also a repeat felon who served prison time in New Jersey for robbery and other crimes, according to court records that are now part of a federal case against him. ...
A California man moved to St. Petersburg last year. He told police it was tough starting over. But his ways didn't open doors.
He threatened to kill people and blow up businesses, officers reported, and he fractured a detective's cheekbone.
James Gluz, 35, was federally charged this week with posting threats over the Internet. The indictment singles out three such incidents, but since Gluz's arrival in the Tampa Bay area, authorities have investigated others....
TAMPA — On April Fool's day, a man with a small baseball bat approached a security officer at the U.S. District Courthouse, called out "batter up" and took a swing toward the officer.
It was no prank.
An affidavit from the U.S. Marshals Service chronicles a pattern of erratic behavior by a Clearwater man whose harassment of courthouse staff escalated into a criminal conviction Monday for assault on a federal officer....
TAMPA — A longtime luxury car salesman from Pinellas County was sentenced to three years of probation and 75 hours of community service Tuesday for spending veterans benefits that arrived for his mother long after her April 2009 death.
Elliot Kahana, 69, who had no prior criminal history, could have faced up to six months in prison but instead got stern words from U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich, who reminded him not to forget his missteps....
TAMPA — A federal judge has ordered the Bureau of Prisons to investigate whether an inmate jailed since mid May in Pinellas and Citrus counties is getting his AIDS medication.
Kelby McCrillis, 42, was awaiting placement in federal prison on a probation violation in July when he filed his own motion asking for early release, alleging drugs he requires daily have been withheld.
U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. ordered the investigation after a hearing Tuesday. He also directed Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hoffer, as a representative of the government, to follow up on McCrillis' care....
TAMPA — A Tampa man jailed since May said in a recent court filing that his AIDS is going untreated, and his attorney wrote days ago that the situation is "cruel," "excessive" and "life-threatening."
Kelby McCrillis, 42, was in the privately run Citrus County Detention Center for most of July. But he previously spent seven weeks at the Pinellas County Jail, where he has since been returned....
TAMPA — A former civilian employee of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base was ordered Monday to serve five years of federal probation for stealing five laptop computers and other electronic equipment on the job.
Scott Duty, 48, must also pay about $14,050 in restitution and complete 200 hours of community service.
The matter came to the attention of a CentCom official after a supplier noticed four of the laptops advertised on eBay, according to court records. There was no report of a data breach associated with the thefts....
TAMPA —Two financial consultants accused of helping corporate clients reduce tax debt through the purchase of sham insurance policies have signed plea agreements admitting to a related crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
Duane Crithfield, 68, of Dade City and Stephen Donaldson Sr., 69, of Tampa are expected to plead guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to one count of aiding and assisting fraud and false statements....
Immigrant Stanislaw Kasprzak has a long history in Pinellas County of stealing things and driving drunk. His 23 statewide arrests date back nearly three decades.
But recently unsealed court records accuse him of worse: a June 2009 murder over gambling losses in his native Poland.
Kasprzak, 57, a naturalized U.S. citizen, now faces possible extradition to Poland, where authorities consider him a fugitive and seek his return....
TAMPA — The teen boy in Mountain View, Mo., had been bullied for being gay.
The Tampa man just wanted to help him out of a bad situation.
That's how Stephen Farris Underwood, 46, explains coercing a 15-year-old into leaving his family and accompanying Underwood to Florida in November for 10 days of sex that began after they met through Kik, a smartphone messaging app.
Underwood, described in a jail record as a computer technician, faces at least 10 years in federal prison under terms of a signed plea agreement filed Monday. He is expected to plead guilty today in U.S. District Court to a charge of transporting a minor for sex. ...
TAMPA — The wife of a Pinellas Park pain clinic doctor has asked to be tried separately from her husband in a prescription drug conspiracy case, noting that if the two go on trial together, she might suffer "spillover" from patient deaths authorities link to the husband.
Dr. Edward Neil Feldman and Kim Feldman both face charges. But the doctor alone is alleged to have prescribed drugs, not for legitimate reasons, that led to three overdose deaths....
TAMPA — It's summer. Everyone wants to get away. And nothing rouses wanderlust quite like the threat of prison.
At times, the federal criminal docket in Tampa looks a bit like a list of outbound flights at an airport, what with all the travel requests sprinkled amid the otherwise serious business of U.S. District Court.
Aruba! New York! The Poconos! New Orleans! Las Vegas! They are among the recent destinations of defendants free on bail pending trial, sentencing or imprisonment....