A 19-year-old woman told authorities she went to buy cigarettes at a convenience store with Joseph Stafford, and then he drove to an orange grove and raped her. The attack happened about 7:30 a.m. Saturday in a grove near U.S. 98 and U.S. 301. Stafford of 10428 Candy Lane in Dade City is 51 and a registered sex offender. State records show he has served two prison stints on numerous drug and weapons charges, plus a 1989 attempted sexual battery. The victim in this case told deputies Stafford forced her to perform sexual acts in the car. She asked to step out of the car to urinate, and when she did, she ran. Stafford, who was charged with sexual battery and kidnapping, said the sex was consensual, his arrest report says. He remained jailed Monday in lieu of $100,000 bail.
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Inmate's gut hid pills, deputies say
Scott Preli had to get through 45 days inside the confines of the Pasco County jail, his sentence for two counts of petty theft. When he reported on May 2 to begin his sentence, authorities say he smuggled in 20 tablets of methadone. The pills were concealed inside four balloons Preli had swallowed, which revealed themselves four days later when he used the bathroom, according to his arrest report. Preli of 34825 Buck Road in Zephyrhills now has another charge against him - introduction of contraband in a detention facility.
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Disoriented man wakes neighbors
It was nearly 5 a.m. Saturday at the Chasco Woods apartment complex and someone was knocking on doors at random. When residents answered, they got another shock: a naked man at the door. Deputies found the naked man lying on the ground. His clothes were in a pile nearby. He appeared to be drunk and was fondling himself, the report said. The man didn't know how he got home, why he was knocking on neighbors' doors or why he was naked. Deputies identified the man as Joshua Noble, 31, and charged him with disorderly intoxication and indecent exposure.
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NEW PORT RICHEY
Child banged up by DUI wreck
A 33-year-old landscaper drove under the influence of drugs and crashed his truck, causing minor injuries to a 6-year-old child passenger, authorities said. Patrick James Tamse faces charges of driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and child neglect after a wreck on Little Road near River Crossing Boulevard on Saturday afternoon. The Florida Highway Patrol said Tamse of 2353 Grandin Street in Holiday admitted to taking six Roxicodone pills and morphine prior to driving. Tamse remained in jail Monday in lieu of $9,500 bail.
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Prescription pad stolen from office
Two Brooksville residents, including a woman with 13 prior drug convictions, are accused of stealing a prescription pad from a doctor's office. Nora Vandemark and Gerald Whitman, both 46, were arrested Friday on charges of petty theft and illegal possession of 15 counterfeit-resistant prescription blanks. They were each being held on $75,250 bonds.
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Water line break snarls traffic
Bayshore Boulevard at Gandy Boulevard is closed in both directions because of a water main break. The leak is under control, but because of major damage to the roadway, the intersection will probably be closed for at least a couple days, said police Lt. David Goodman. It is buckling in some areas and sinking in others. A storm drain was damaged, too. Traffic to MacDill Air Force Base will be affected, said Tampa Water spokesman Elias Franco. He said at least 17 homes were without water Monday.
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2.5 tons of medicine turned in
Tampa Bay residents turned over 2.5 tons of prescription drugs that had expired or were no longer needed last month during the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative. Powerful prescription painkillers lingering in medicine cabinets are a major source of diversion for drug abuse, according to the DEA. Across Florida, authorities collected almost 6 tons of drugs - more than was collected during a similar event in September.
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Driver dies in crash with truck
A 25-year-old man died early Monday in a crash in Plant City. Kevin Walton II was driving north on Paul Buchman Highway shortly before 2 a.m. in a 2004 Honda Civic. As he approached Varn Road, the car drifted into the southbound lane and into the path of a Freightliner tow truck, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman. Walton's car struck the left side of William Adams' truck. Adams, 53, was not injured. Both drivers wore seat belts; alcohol was not a factor in the crash, Gaskins said.