TAMPA — Jason Alan Hargrove posted pictures of a penis in a Craigslist advertisement titled "MILITARY LOOKING FOR A LOVER" and wrote that he knew how to be discrete.
But, according to a criminal complaint, he didn't know how to avoid a law enforcement sting.
The 26-year-old Air Force senior airman who lives in Brandon was arrested Monday and faces a federal charge of trying to entice a minor to have sex....
TAMPA — A federal judge has delayed today's planned sentencing of abortion pill defendant John Andrew Welden, asking to first hear medical testimony about the potency of the drug misoprostol.
U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara likely would have had the benefit of such testimony had the case gone to trial.
But because Welden took a plea deal in September, the government did little to contradict assertions early on by defense experts who said it would be impossible to know whether one 200 microgram dose of the drug caused the death of Remee Jo Lee's nearly 7-week-old embryo....
TAMPA — A federal judge isn't convinced that the abortion pill John Andrew Welden gave an ex-girlfriend caused her to miscarry, and those judicial misgivings could translate to a shorter prison sentence than recommended for Welden.
An emergency hearing has been scheduled for today.
The 28-year-old son of a Lutz gynecologist is supposed to be sentenced Tuesday in a case brought under the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act. In a plea agreement, Welden admitted to mail fraud and product tampering causing serious bodily injury. His attorney and the prosecutor recommended a sentence of 13 years and 8 months....
TAMPA — A psychiatrist suggests bipolar disorder crippled John Andrew Welden's judgment. Friends say he panicked. Meanwhile, his court-ordered guard says Welden feels remorse over slipping ex-girlfriend Remee Jo Lee an abortion drug.
"I have seen him, watched him and listened to him express sorrow while praying at the dining room table with his father and family," security officer Lenny Bogdanos wrote to a judge....
TAMPA —Twenty-eight people, at least two with ties to the Tampa Bay area, were arrested in a sting operation in Osceola County in recent days after authorities say they set up trysts with investigators who posed as girls under 16 interested in sex.
Raymond Michael Foy, 25, of Tampa and Jerry Wayne Johnson Jr., 34, of Brandon were booked Friday on felony charges of conspiracy, lewd and lascivious battery, traveling to lure a child and using a computer to seduce a child....
11/17/13 Human Interest
TAMPA — Tom Morgan was 5 the year John F. Kennedy came to town. His Catholic mother, under the spell of Jackie Kennedy, liked to dress him in suits with short pants, like John John, the famous White House son.
Morgan recalls peering down from bleachers at the old Al Lopez Field in Tampa on Nov. 18, 1963, and getting a look at the first Catholic president in U.S. history. His hair looked lighter than it did on TV....
TAMPA — Infamy is fleeting.
Last year, a federal audit invoked Tampa's name 18 times while describing how thieves everywhere may have collected $5.2 billion in fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS. But an updated audit released Thursday doesn't mention Tampa once.
Miami appears to have replaced it as America's IRS-duping capital, at least in the accounting of a federal watchdog agency, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. ...
TAMPA — A Pinellas County chef faces federal child pornography charges after admitting to an FBI agent that he made sexually explicit videos of a 3-year-old girl he was babysitting, authorities said.
The criminal complaint against Steven Edward Speer, 27, contains excerpts from online chat messages, purportedly sent under Speer's user names, that graphically describe "training" a 3-year-old to perform a sex act....
TAMPA — One offered up a stack of Navy blood donor records. Another lifted identities from a New Jersey doctor's office.
Two men with links to the Tampa Bay area have been found guilty of aggravated identity theft and other charges related to stolen identity tax refund fraud.
Berness Swan, 44, of Spring Hill admitted in a New Jersey courtroom on Friday to stealing patient identities from a clinic in Mount Laurel, N.J., where he worked from 2009 to 2012, and collecting $120,000 in fraudulent tax refunds. He faces two years in prison on an identity theft charge and up to 10 years on a charge of theft of government property when sentenced Feb. 7....
TAMPA — When John Andrew Welden tried to buy the abortion drug Cytotec to slip to his ex-girlfriend March 29, his forged prescription was dated April 29.
On the surface, the prescriber appeared to be Welden's fertility specialist father. Sunlake Pharmacy had seen the signature often. Still, because of the date, a pharmacist called the doctor's office to verify the order, according to recently filed court documents in a civil suit....
TAMPA — Cortnee Brantley's hair appears high on a list of personal priorities. Braided, twisted, two-toned, at times shaved, her strands show a new style with each trip to federal court. She fixes other people's 'dos and has dabbled in cosmetology school.
But should hair outrank the orders of a federal judge?
U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. doesn't think so.
He threatened Wednesday to jail Brantley if she doesn't start remembering court obligations the way she manages to remember hair appointments....
TAMPA — The nursing field humbled her, Denetria Barnes wrote last spring, describing an appreciation for life she discovered amid the dying.
"One Day Someone Is Here Den Dey Gone," the medical assistant posted in Facebook jargon. "U Kno I B Getting Attached Ta My Patients." Only detectives knew just how attached.
Barnes, 24, was sentenced to 37 months in prison Tuesday for conspiring with a boyfriend to defraud the government by peddling hundreds of patient identities. Many wound up in the hands of a Tampa detective posing as a tax refund thief....
By 18, a boy should be enough of a man to direct his own life, Sam Safa reasons.
His nephews can't seem to get there. Instead, Molar and Bitar Gourgy, 18 and 20, are in jail, accused of selling marijuana. Previously, it was cocaine.
The cost of misspent youth?
The government has set the stage to deport them.
They came from Egypt at ages 5 and 7, Coptic Christians fleeing extremists in a largely Muslim nation. Soon, they were in pirate costumes at Skycrest Elementary in Clearwater, or playing soccer with schoolmates....
TAMPA — An appellate judge has extended the bail of a convicted child porn distributor who was previously ordered to jail to await sentencing.
U.S. Circuit Judge Charles Wilson ruled Friday that Michael D. Meister can remain free while the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, decides what to do with his claim that he's deserving of special treatment because he has cancer....
TAMPA — Michael D. Meister has appealed a federal judge's order sending the cancer patient to jail to await sentencing on a child pornography conviction.
The Pinellas Park business consultant's attorney filed an emergency motion Wednesday night asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to grant bail, after U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara in Tampa concluded he did not have jurisdiction to do so....