Police officers in Florida dropped hundreds of dollars on drinks, cigarettes and lap dances during an undercover operation at a strip club — but made no arrests and didn’t report any intelligence, an internal affairs report shows.
Tampa police Sgt. Daniel Rhodes was suspended for a day and removed from the department’s Street Anti-Crime Squad following the internal probe into the January 2020 visit to the Gold Club, where an unspecified number of undercover cops spent $421 during the three-hour visit.
“The officers advised they spent the money on the cover charge, drinks for themselves, drinks for the dancers, drinks for the dancer’s friends, shots for the bartender, a pack of cigarettes, cover charge for the ‘lap dance area’ and one lap dance each,” according to the report obtained by The Post.
The galavanting undercover cops, however, didn’t receive any intelligence from a dancer at the club who had purported ties to a shooting suspect in Tampa’s Ybor City section. The officers also made no arrests during the “alleged fake operation,” the report found.
Rhodes told investigators his squad went to the jiggle joint as a part of its investigation into the shooting, as well as to make narcotics or prostitution arrests.
Tips had previously been received that dancers were selling sex at the club from June through December 2019, leading to the undercover operation, according to the internal affairs report.
“However, all of the officers gave conflicting statements pertaining to the reason and title of the operation, which led to a miss understanding [sic] of the objective,” Tampa police internal investigators wrote.
An investigation into the visit was “immediately” launched once Tampa police learned of it, according to a department statement to The Post Wednesday.
“Discovering misconduct of any of our officers is always disheartening and unacceptable and the department will not tolerate this behavior,” the statement read. “Conducting audits ensures officers are following proper procedures and policies and held to a higher standard.”
Details of the undercover operation were discussed Tuesday at a Tampa Police Department Citizens Review Board hearing, which oversees the department’s internal affairs probes, WTVT reported.
The board signed off the report’s findings, but one member questioned whether Rhodes — who remains employed as a sergeant — was disciplined severely enough.
“The penalty or the violation of a one-day suspension and moving him around does not look like it is enough for what he did,” board member Carolyn Collins said.