Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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    Release Number: 17-058

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • February 15, 2017
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Hiker Arrested

    HCSO Aviation spotted the hiker at around 3:00 p.m., and hoisted deputies down from the helicopter to assist.
    • Tuesday
    • February 14, 2017
    • Time: 11:44 AM
    • Hillsborough River State Park


    Rufus Gaston Buckner
    DOB: 02/17/78
    1901 E. Annie St.
    Tampa, FL


    • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
    • Possession of Methamphetamine


    On February 14, 2017 at 11:44 a.m., HCSO deputies responded to Hillsborough River State Park to search for a hiker that called and stated he had been lost in the park since noon yesterday and that his phone battery was dying. Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office deputies, Marine Unit, Aviation Unit and Special Incident Response Team responded, along with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue to search for the hiker. HCSO Aviation spotted the hiker at around 3:00 p.m., a couple miles deep off of 301 in the wooded marsh area in between Hillsborough River State Park and John Sargeant Park, and hoisted deputies down from the helicopter to assist. FWC made contact with the hiker about 30 minutes later and realized that the name the hiker had given over the phone was false. Throughout the course of the investigation, deputies determined that the hiker's real name was Rufus Buckner. Throughout the interview, Buckner would not cooperate and continued to provide deputies with conflicting information about when he arrived at the park, who he was with and what he was doing there. Deputies located a straw with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine in Buckner's bag and arrested him and charged him with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Possession of Methamphetamine. He will also be trespassed from all county and state parks. Buckner was released from jail on February 9.
  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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