News

Three found dead after standoff

TAMPA — Authorities say a police standoff ended with three dead bodies at two Tampa Bay homes.

Police say 31-year-old Robert Velazquez called a relative Saturday afternoon to say goodbye and to inform her that he had killed someone. The woman called police, and officers responded to Velazquez’s West Tampa home. After a 90-minute standoff, a tactical team went into the home and found Velazquez’s girlfriend lying on the kitchen floor. Officers and Velazquez exchanged fire, and the man ran to the back of the house, where he apparently shot himself.

A short time later at a suburban Hillsborough County apartment, authorities found the body of another man, who was a friend and co-worker of Velazquez’s girlfriend. Authorities believe that man might also be a victim of Velazquez.

Police major reprimanded for grandson’s gun theft

ST. PETERSBURG — Officials say a St. Petersburg police major has been reprimanded for letting his teenage grandson steal his gun.

The police department reports that Donnie Williams was officially reprimanded Thursday for losing his gun in June. His 16-year-old grandson had been riding with him on June 13 and reportedly took the handgun from a computer bag. The gun was recovered by undercover detectives during a June 17 arrest, and the grandson’s fingerprints were found on the gun. The grandson told police he sold the loaded gun two days after its theft to an unidentified person for $250.

A review board found that the 31-year veteran violated regulations by not caring for his department-issued equipment and by not preventing its loss or theft.

Men charged after fatal line-cutting incident

TAMPA — Tampa police have arrested two men after authorities say a fight over line-cutting at a food cart led to the death of one man and the serious injury of another.

Police say 20-year-old Juan Martinez-Morales and 18-year-old Leeching-Hong Luberisse were both arrested Friday night and charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder and gun possession by a felon.

Police say Luberisse punched 27-year-old Eriberto Reyes while in line on Aug. 8. Then Martinez-Morales pulled a gun and shot Reyes three times in the abdomen. A stray bullet hit 23-year-old Alquan Garner, who was not involved in the fight.

Garner later died at a hospital from his wound, and Reyes remains in serious condition.

Police finally caught up with Martinez-Morales and Luberisse on Friday.

About 160 arrested in Broward crime sweep

FORT LAUDERDALE — About 160 people were arrested across Broward County in an intense two-day sweep that focused on crimes ranging from prostitution to the illegal sale of prescription drugs.

The crackdown over Thursday and Friday, called Operation Summer Slam, was a joint effort by the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement and the Lauderhill and Sunrise police departments. It follows two months after a joint operation between the FBI and Sheriff’s Office netted more than 50 suspected gang members in Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.

According to Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella, Operation Summer Slam also targeted street-level drug deals and fugitives with outstanding warrants and included a prostitution sting in Dania Beach. The Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested two men, each on multiple counts of possession of child pornography.

Law enforcement officers confiscated 26 guns, five vehicles, more than $20,000 in cash and an assortment of illegal drugs including prescription pills, powder and crack cocaine and marijuana.

Man gets 28 years for dealing heroin

TAMPA — A Tampa drug dealer has been sentenced to more than 28 years in federal prison for his distributing heroin.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office reports that 42-year-old Jose Quinoes-Figueroa had more than 50 grams of heroin in his home when law enforcement searched it in April 2008.

Prosecutors say Quinoes-Figueroa, who lived just 100 feet from an elementary school, was on supervised release for drug convictions in Puerto Rico at the time of his arrest.

Passenger thrown from car, hit by another car

DELAND — Authorities say a passenger in a Deland crash died after being ejected from one vehicle and then hit by another.

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that 21-year-old Arthur A. Bakewell was speeding early Saturday morning when he lost control of his car and hit a mailbox, two trees and a sign.

A door was ripped off, and an unidentified passenger, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car.

The passenger landed in the middle of the street and was then struck by another vehicle.

The passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Authorities have not determined whether alcohol was involved in the crash.

— Herald wire services

  Comments