Search ends with lost Hillsborough hiker’s arrest on drug charges

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A man who called deputies to rescue him from a marsh was arrested on drug charges last Thursday.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to Hillsborough River State Park to search for a hiker who called and said he’d been lost since noon the previous day and his phone battery was dying.

Deputies, along with the Marine Unit, Aviation Unit, Special Incident Response Team, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation and Hillsborough Fire Rescue responded to search for the hiker.

He was spotted in a wooded marsh area between Hillsborough River State Park and John Sergeant Park.

FWC officials made contact with him and realized the name he had given on the phone was false.

Deputies determined the hiker’s name is Rufus Buckner.  Deputies said he did not cooperate and gave deputies conflicting information about when he arrived to the park, who he was with and what he was doing there.

Deputies found a straw with methamphetamine residue in his bag.

Buckner is charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of meth and is banned from all county and state parks.


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