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Undercover detective robbed at gunpoint in Hillsborough County

Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-03 18:21:03-05

In an effort to get illegal guns off the street, an undercover detective for the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office was robbed at gunpoint.

The 9mm pistol had a fully loaded magazine with a round in the chamber.

“The detective even noticed that his finger was on the trigger.” Major Frank Losat said.

Major Losat says two undercover detectives met  20-year-old Tyrone McKinnon Jr. and 19-year-old Raheem Palmer to buy a stolen gun along East Hillsborough Avenue, across the street from the Hard Rock Casino.

When McKinnon pointed the gun at the detective, several deputies responded, arresting the two suspects.

It turns out, the gun was stolen from an unlocked truck in August, about 3 miles away.

“There are hundreds of guns every year that were stolen that we’re trying to recover.” Major Losat said.

Losat says there’s been a focus on getting these types of guns off the street for the past few years. It’s rare for a deputy to be robbed. However, this is the second time an undercover detective has been robbed at gunpoint in two months.

A robbery in November was nearly identical to the case from yesterday. A detective was attempting to purchase a gun from a drug dealer. The drug dealer also put a gun to that deputy’s head. He was arrested shortly after.

“And there are a lot more crimes like this happening, but the victims aren’t reporting them,” he said.

ABC Action News contacted the owner of the gun. He said he left the firearm in his unlocked truck for 15 minutes. He said he was sorry and learned his lesson. He’s grateful the detective wasn’t hurt. 

As of Wednesday night, it’s still not clear if that weapon was used to commit other crimes.

“Part of the process is having it processed. We’ll have imaging with FDLE to see if that gun matches any other crimes in the country.” Major Losat said.