1. Hillsborough

He had a shotgun and a badge. But he was a fake Hillsborough deputy, say real deputies

Travas Nelson Strickland, 30, faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. [HCSO]
Published Jul. 23

DOVER — A 30-year-old, shotgun-wielding man posed as an undercover Hillsborough sheriff's deputy on Monday, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Now Travas Nelson Strickland faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

The incident took place just after 12 p.m. Monday in a rural area along the 14000 block of Bevlin Acres, near the intersection of N Dover Road and E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

A group of people told deputies they approached Strickland to ask why he was there on the parcel.

Strickland told them he was an undercover sheriff's "narcotics officer," the agency said. He showed them a handgun and badge.

Then Strickland went to his vehicle, got out a shotgun and started loading it while the barrel was pointed at the witnesses, according to the Sheriff's Office. The witnesses wrote down his tag number as he drove off, then called for help. Deputies then found and arrested Strickland.

Strickland, of Seffner, was freed from the Hillsborough County jail on Tuesday after posting $6,000 bail, records show.

No other details about the incident were released by the Sheriff's Office.

Contact Kavitha Surana at @ksurana6 or 727-893-8149. Follow @ksurana6.


  1. Rescue crews work Thursday night at the scene of a fatal wrong-way crash involving a car and a truck on U.S. 301 near Bloomingdale Ridge Drive. The driver of the Acura sedan, Anthony L. Shaw of St. Petersburg, was driving south in the northbound lanes when the crash happened, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    Anthony L. Shaw, 45, was driving an Acura sedan south in the northbound lanes before the crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
  2. Marissa Mowry, 28, sits in a Hillsborough County courtroom court before her sentencing hearing Thursday. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy when he was 11-years-old. She was his former nanny, and became pregnant with his child. Photo courtesy of WTVT-Fox 13
    Marissa Mowry was 22 when she first assaulted an 11-year-old boy. Now he’s a teenager raising a son, and she was classified as a sexual predator.
  3. Sam's Club fulfillment center manager Nick Barbieri explains to a shopper how the new Scan & Go shop works at 5135 S Dale Mabry Highway. SARA DINATALE  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The shuttered store has been reinvented and debuted to the community.
  4. Yogi Goswami
    The Molekule Air Mini is a scaled-down version of its original purifier.
  5. Yesterday• Business
    The Cross Bay Ferry, Provincetown III leaves the Vinoy Yacht Basin in January with passengers headed to Tampa. For departure times and fares for this season, which will go from Nov. 1 through April 30, check [SCOTT KEELER | Times] SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Now in its third year, the ferry will run Wednesdays through Sundays, with service for every Tampa Bay Lightning home game.
  6. Travis Malloy who runs an 8-acre farm with his assistant Shelby Alinsky on the east side of Temple Terrace, raises organic beef, pigs, turkeys and chickens. Malloy has also set up a number of...
  7. The University of South Florida revealed a new plan for the school's consolidation Thursday morning. Unlike the first plan presented in September, it promises a high level of authority to leaders on campuses in St. Petersburg, shown here, and Sarasota. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    A new proposal also aims to strengthen programs at the university’s St. Petersburg and Sarasota locations.
  8. An arrest warrant has been issued for Orlando Proenza Jr., who deputies say fired multiple shots from a paintball gun into a motor vehicle Tuesday in Carrollwood. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help finding Orlando Proenza Jr.
  9. Rocky Johnson, father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, has moved back to the Tampa Bay area where he achieved his own professional wrestling stardom in the 1970s. Johnson has released his autobiography, "Soulman: The Rocky Johnson Story." OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Rocky Johnson was Florida’s first African-American heavyweight pro wrestling champ. You can read about it in his new book.
  10. A group of Sulphur Springs residents is working to raise funds to preserve the water tower, which has not been repainted in 30 years. CHRIS ZUPPA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The 214-foot tall water tower along the Hillsborough River hasn’t been painted in 30 years.