tampabay.com

Crime journal

By Times Staff Writers
Published October 12, 2007


ST. PETERSBURG

Nine arrested in drug ring

Using rental cars and shipping companies, a St. Petersburg-based drug ring smuggled more than 8,000 pounds of marijuana from Mexico to Pinellas County in the past two years, authorities said Thursday. Some of that pot ended up in the hands of street-level dealers, whose arrests in 2006 helped investigators begin to piece together the larger smuggling operation. On Thursday, after an 18-month investigation, authorities announced they had broken up the ring and arrested nine people on federal trafficking charges. Four of the arrests were made in St. Petersburg, four in Tucson, Ariz., and one in Las Vegas.

TAMPA

Roommate stabbed in fight

An argument between two roommates Wednesday night turned bloody after one man picked up a knife and stabbed the other, Hillsborough deputies say. Daniel James Irvine, 23, of 210 Cherry Lane, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon Thursday. Irvine argued with Michael James Offerle, 31, and ended up stabbing him in the chest and stomach, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. Irvine fled before an ambulance arrived to take Offerle to Tampa General Hospital, deputies said. His injuries were non-life threatening. Irvine was taken to the Orient Road jail; his bail was set at $7,500.

ST. PETERSBURG

Man is killed near rec center

A 46-year-old maintenance worker was shot and killed in broad daylight Thursday morning just across the street from the Wildwood Recreation Center. Benjamin Philyor was gunned down in an alley near 2581 Langdon Ave. S, police said. The shooting took place less than a block from the recreation center, a popular city park and hangout for children and families. Philyor, an employee at the nonprofit James B. Sanderlin Center, is the city's 24th homicide victim of the year; there were 21 homicides last year. Police had not made any arrests as of Thursday night. Philyor has a long criminal record that includes several arrests related to cocaine.