Chip DeBlock

Chip DeBlock was born and raised in Tampa , Florida in 1962. He graduated from the University of South Florida (U.S.F.) in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice and worked with the Tampa Police Department (T.P.D.) for 30 years. While working at T.P.D. (1983 – 2013) he served in the following capacities:

  • Uniform District Two – Uniform Patrol Officer
  • Uniform District One – Uniform Patrol Officer
  • Selective Enforcement Bureau (S.E.B.) – Plain Clothes & Uniform Special Events Officer
  • Quick Uniform Attack on Drugs (Q.U.A.D. Squad) – Plain Clothes Officer & MPO
  • Morals Unit (Narcotics/Vice Unit) – Undercover Detective
  • Organized Crime Unit (C.I.B.) – Undercover Detective
  • Wet Zoning (C.I.B.) – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Missing Persons – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Auto Theft – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Domestic Violence – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Kayla Data Entry (Sex Crimes) – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Gun Unit – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Legal Unit (Forfeiture) – Plain Clothes Detective
  • Police Benevolent Association (P.B.A.) – Corporal On Full-time Release & Elected Position As Executive Secretary

After being promoted to detective and moving to the Criminal Intelligence Bureau (C.I.B.), Det. DeBlock began investigating Adult Use, Organized Crime and Public Corruption. He worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (F.D.L.E.) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office on corruption at the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office when Harry Lee Coe was State Attorney. During a sensitive public corruption investigation, Det. DeBlock found himself on the receiving end of political pressures. Due to his efforts to expose public corruption, the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office filed 21 allegations against Det. DeBlock in the Internal Affairs Bureau (I.A.B.) which eventually led to a criminal investigation against him. Detective DeBlock was removed from the Organized Crime Unit, placed on Administrative Duty and endured an active I.A.B. investigation for 19 months. In the end, however, Det. DeBlock was cleared of any wrongdoing in both the Internal Affair’s complaints and the criminal allegations thanks (in part) to his meticulous record keeping.

During the investigation against Det. DeBlock, the FDLE released their report of the investigation against State Attorney Harry Lee Coe. Harry Lee Coe committed suicide immediately prior to the release of this report.

After Det. DeBlock was cleared, his internal affairs package became public record and was made available to the media. During his defense, Det. DeBlock had produced an 89 page document detailing his innocence and outlining corruption at various levels of government including the State Attorney’s Office (SAO). Although this document was initially not provided by the City to the media because it came up “missing”, it was eventually produced. Upon its release to the media and a huge press following, new State Attorney Mark Ober told the news media that Det. DeBlock had no credibility. Ober refused to use Det. DeBlock’s testimony in court and former Police Chief Bennie Holder transferred DeBlock out of the elite C.I.B. unit. Detective DeBlock was assigned to handle missing person cases and no longer allowed to conduct criminal investigations.

In November of 2001 Det. DeBlock filed a state Whistleblower lawsuit, in circuit court, against the City of Tampa and former Police Chief Bennie Holder. Judge Marva L. Crenshaw ruled that Det. DeBlock was not entitled to punitive or compensatory type damages, that he may get his old job back and that he might be entitled to reimbursement of his legal fees. Due to this ruling, the Whistleblower lawsuit is no longer being pursued.

FOX 13 Investigates – TPD Whistleblower Lawsuit – November 12, 2001
FOX 13 Investigates – Sex Scandal I – November 01, 2002
FOX 13 Investigates – Sex Scandal II – December 10, 2002
FOX 13 Investigates – Sex Scandal III – March 14, 2003

In May of 2003 Det. DeBlock filed a defamation of character lawsuit against current Hillsborough County State Attorney Mark Ober and the State Attorney’s Office. Judge James D. Arnold dismissed the lawsuit under the premise that Ober is immune from such lawsuits. The 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld Judge Arnold’s decision.

FOX 13 Investigates – Detective v. State Attorney – May 8, 2003

In early 2004, while investigating the disappearance of missing gay men including Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz, Det. DeBlock located additional victims and identified Steven Lorenzo as a suspect in the drugging, abduction, kidnapping and rape of many of them.  Although Det. DeBlock had enough probable cause to make an arrest, he drafted a search warrant for Lorenzo’s residence in order to obtain and preserve evidence of these crimes.  Detective DeBlock also had reason to believe that additional evidence would be located linking Lorenzo with the disappearance and death of Galehouse and Wachholtz (Wachholtz’s body had already been discovered).  After the SAO and the Statewide Prosecutor’s Office refused to review Det. DeBlock’s search warrant, the Tampa Police Department removed DeBlock from the case and abandoned all efforts to have a search warrant executed at Steven Lorenzo’s home.  Detective DeBlock, in turn, contacted the DEA and supplied them with a copy of his search warrant.  The Tampa Police Department responded by writing Det. DeBlock up for insubordination because he failed to follow orders.  The DEA approached TPD with the search warrant they obtained from Det. DeBlock and issued a total of 4 search warrants at the home of Steven Lorenzo.  These search warrants not only preserved evidence from the crimes Det. DeBlock had been investigating, but also uncovered new evidence that led to the arrest and successful prosecution of Steven Lorenzo and Scott Schweickert for crimes involving the drugging and murder of Jason Galehouse and Michael Wachholtz.  The Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office refused to prosecute this case, so Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Porcelli stepped up to the plate and prosecuted this case in federal court.  Lorenzo was sentenced to 200 years and Schweickert sentenced to 40 years in federal prison.  Since federal statutes do not regulate murder (this is left to state statutes), Lorenzo and Wachholtz had to be tried and convicted for other related crimes.

The Tampa Tribune – Legal Web May Have Slowed Inquiry Into Missing Men – 07/22/04

The Tampa Tribune – State Attorney Interfered With Probe, Detective Says – 07/22/04

In 2002 Chip co-founded the LEOAFFAIRS.COM law enforcement website and followed up with their infamous message boards in 2003 along with partner Jim Preston.  The site was acquired by Bright Mountain Media, Inc. on 01/02/2014 and Chip was hired to continue running things as a private contractor through 2016.  In 2015 he created the LEO Round Table law enforcement talk show where he is currently the host.


  1. Wow….this is a tragedy. I am consistently hearing about Hillsborough County being corrupt. I am so weary of this “good ole boy” mentality. Where a police officer or another official spots corruption, naively believes that proper follow-up will happen. Then all of a sudden it gets flipped onto them. No wonder why people are so apathetic and lack a true desire to do things right. Why should they? All it brings is attacks.

    Then we wonder why we have corrupt politics, etc.

  2. I admire your pereverance to do the right thing. I fight similar struggles within the Dept. Of Corrections with regards to employment and work place issues. Although, I having little success due to having to report isssues and violations to the same people who placed my superiors in their positions. My only success to date is to be a compete pain for the administration and some of the more “do as they want” policies have been stopped.

  3. This is heartbreaking! How can he be cleared yet be uncompensated? After all his work (thank God he was meticulous) he did what he had to do. His work brought a lot to light and some justice. That the state refuses to charge these men with murder is a crime in itself. To see someone who so obviously loved his job, did it very well and get treated this way is a scary thing. My heart goes out to Chip and others like him. He became a “point of light” and the others are in a very dark place. You’ve got a fan here, Chip. Stand tall.

  4. Wow… You are my HERO! !