Tampa police officers spend $421 at strip club, sergeant receives suspension

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – A trip to a Tampa strip club by several Tampa police officers has led to the suspension of a Sergeant in the department.

The officers spent money in the club, but according to an internal affairs investigation did not have a clear purpose for being in the club.

According to a report given to the Tampa Police Citizen Review Board, several officers from the street anti-crime squad anti-crime squad conducted an undercover investigation at the Gold Club on State Road 60.

“The operational plan for the Gold Club states that due to recent Prostitution and narcotics complaints inside the Gold Club, officers will attempt to make a deal with the entertainers for narcotics or prostitution,” said Corporal Katie Thanasas with the Tampa Police Department during a report to the Citizen Review Board.

According to the report, the allegations of prostitution and drugs in the Gold Club came from tips given to Crime Stoppers, but the tips were at least a year old before the officers began their investigation. The officers were also seeking to obtain information about a shooting that had occurred in Ybor City. The officers believe a dancer at the club may know something about the shooting.

However, the investigation failed to turn up any useable evidence.

“The allegation referenced an alleged fake operation at the Gold Club and that Sergeant Rhodes was aware of the illegitimacy of the operation. He allegedly told the officers they could essentially blow money and have fun,” said Thanasas.

Inside the club, officers spent $421 on their drinks, drinks for the dancers, drinks for friends of the dancers, shots for the bartender, a cover charge for the lap dance area and one lap dance.

The internal affairs report given by Thanasas says the officers gave conflicting statements about the purpose of their investigation.

Tampa Police Sergeant Daniel Rhodes was removed from the Anti-Crime Squad and suspended for one day for failing to follow department policies during the investigation.

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