Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

FBI: Valrico 'Doomsday prepper' still at large
Bay News 9 ^ | Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 5:58 AM | Jason Lanning

Posted on 06/17/2014 3:41:05 AM PDT by rarestia

An FBI manhunt is ongoing for the 55-year-old Valrico man wanted on federal charges of manufacturing illegal weapons.

The search for Martin Winters ranged from Plant City to Lithia on Monday. Officials say Winters, described as "extremeley dangerous" is the subject of an FBI investigation.

There currently is no law enforcement presence in the area.

Agents say Winters was illegally obtaining assault rifles and building pipe bombs.

Federal agents dressed in camouflage gear and holding rifles kept their eyes on an area of woods off Lithia Pinecrest Road Monday evening.

According to authorities, Winters was approached by authorities while in his vehicle just before 9 a.m. Monday on Cheryl Court in Plant City. Officials said Winters got out of his vehicle and ran into a wooded area near Durant High School, which was briefly locked down.

A SWAT team and helicopters were brought in but Winters got away.

Officials said there is an outstanding federal arrest warrant for Winters. According to a federal indictment, Winters is accused of "making destructive devices.”

Investigators said Winter's plan included killing government agents if he or any member of his group were attacked. Winters is described as a Doomsday prepper, and officials said he buried weapons, ammunition and zip-locked food around several of his properties to to prepare for what he called the end of time.

The federal affidavit points out a YouTube video that shows a man they believed to be Winters digging up one of the many 55 gallons barrels on his and other properties near his home.

The federal affidavit goes on to say Winters is part of a group called the River Otter Preppers, and that he had a plan to kill government agents when he needed to. Investigators say he also made statements about creating booby traps at his home in Valrico, then shooting law enforcement officers when they tried to run away.

Winters was indicted in October on four counts of building destructive devices. He has been under government surveillance since then, according to the FBI.

According to officials, Winters told an undercover agent he had 50 AR-15 rifles buried on his property and other properties. The agent also said Winters told him he wanted to burn his house down and then shoot agents as they arrived to the scene.

Winters also said he had at least 40 men that were willing to participate in his "last stand," officials said.


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: atf; fbi; prepper
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-83 next last
I've been watching the news reports on this in the local area, and something doesn't pass the sniff test. The feds have been less than forthcoming with information on this case, but they won't say that they have a sealed indictment or give a reason for their tight lips.

Having "50 AR-15s" buried around his property along with food, etc. is not a federal crime. The worst he's done is run from cops trying to talk to/arrest him. Otherwise, I've not read any information that indicates he's committed a crime. The fed's entire case is built around hearsay, from what I've read and heard on TV/radio.

1 posted on 06/17/2014 3:41:06 AM PDT by rarestia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: rarestia

I live nearby. Contacts were telling me about the massive Fed presence.

Either someone hit the panic button thinking it was another school shooting...

Or something to do with the anti-2AM agenda push: “Look at those bitter clingers out there!”


2 posted on 06/17/2014 3:43:41 AM PDT by Old Sarge (TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rarestia
Officials said Winters got out of his vehicle and ran into a wooded area near Durant High School, which was briefly locked down. A SWAT team and helicopters were brought in but Winters got away.

Right. Sure.

I get that set-up smell, too. If they had been in contact with this guy long enough to gain sufficient confidence to get him to disclose that he has caches scattered around, they could have picked him up almost any time.

Now the fox is loose and the hounds are baying...

3 posted on 06/17/2014 3:52:06 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

I am becoming so cynical, that I do not believe there is even one federal agent who is capable of telling the truth, or who is honorable. Is that pretty close to the truth?


4 posted on 06/17/2014 3:53:15 AM PDT by Mark17 ( Rudyard Kipling: it is unhealthy, for evil doers, to awaken the sleeping Saxon, and torque his jaws)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

It’s another one of these type operations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_City_Seven

Cant just sit around munching donuts all day, sometimes you have to manufacture a terror plot


5 posted on 06/17/2014 3:54:06 AM PDT by Rome2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

Look at the picture - Now that guy is MY TYPE OF PREPPER.


6 posted on 06/17/2014 3:55:38 AM PDT by BobL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

It seems the case is built around an informant. One wonders exactly how this ‘informant’ came to be aware of the activities authorities assert.

Seems to me that the government is actively infiltrating groups and not just bystanders in creating the environment for the concerns indicated in the article.

The early activities bringing about Ruby Ridge come to mind.


7 posted on 06/17/2014 3:57:14 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pansgold

Now this guy is preparing to defend his Oath.


8 posted on 06/17/2014 4:04:21 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Mark17

You’re not alone, FRiend.
I trust my gut more than the enemedia or the feds.


9 posted on 06/17/2014 4:04:30 AM PDT by RandallFlagg (Uninstall Fascist Firefox. Get Pale Moon.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

The area is around Tampa, Florida for those that are interested.


10 posted on 06/17/2014 4:05:28 AM PDT by Portcall24 (aer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

Seems to me that the government is actively infiltrating groups and not just bystanders in creating the environment for the concerns indicated in the article.


The russian people used to have a saying, something along the lines of :

If you are in a conspiracy and you are not the informant then the others are.

It’s a lot like poker, if you can’t spot the patsy at the table then you are the ‘Patsy’.


11 posted on 06/17/2014 4:08:10 AM PDT by The Working Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

He’s made a laughing stock out of the FBI.


12 posted on 06/17/2014 4:16:45 AM PDT by jacknhoo (Luke 12:51. Think ye, that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, no; but separation.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

Of course they are.

The FedGov NEEDS these type of events. It furthers their agenda.


13 posted on 06/17/2014 4:19:57 AM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

Most of the prepper groups have informants or undercover agents who attend meetings. I used to attend one group. Had firefighters, off duty cops and so forth who seemed to be legit.

Also, had people who would spout off anti-govt statements advocating violence. Happened several times and they were usually asked to leave if they didn’t stop. IMO they were informants seeking to instigate.


14 posted on 06/17/2014 4:23:42 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: rarestia
Investigators said Winter's plan included killing government agents if he or any member of his group were attacked.

Question for the FBI, "What are people supposed to do when they are attacked?" Apparently, it is now a crime to state that if the government attacks you, you intend to fight back.

15 posted on 06/17/2014 4:24:38 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer
he had a plan to kill government agents when he needed to.

Who doesn't? part of be professional, Be polite, Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

16 posted on 06/17/2014 4:25:14 AM PDT by glorgau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

I’m in the Tampa area.


17 posted on 06/17/2014 4:25:26 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: SampleMan

The FBIs answer is that you are supposed to submit. Anything else is a crime.

Its also a very common theme on FR. Submit or be killed.


18 posted on 06/17/2014 4:26:53 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: rarestia
Smells like an ATF entrapment squad went after him.
19 posted on 06/17/2014 4:27:47 AM PDT by 2001convSVT (Going Galt as fast as I can.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2001convSVT

The indictment said the charges were for the manufacture of of 5 ‘firearms’ with a bore larger than .5 inches.


20 posted on 06/17/2014 4:32:01 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: glorgau

Was the plan written? Recorded? Or just statements?

While I never specifically commented on that particular phrasing, I have no way to believe the recounting of the ‘plans’ is legitimate. Just more ‘evidence’ of dubious provenance.


21 posted on 06/17/2014 4:32:45 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

12 gauge shotgun bores are bigger than .5” What is so special about that number?


22 posted on 06/17/2014 4:33:34 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

Sounds like the Southern Poverty Law Center has stuck their nose in.

Since the jug eared clown in the WH has been actively, as in full bore, ginning up dissent in the American people for the last month you can bet there will be more.


23 posted on 06/17/2014 4:35:17 AM PDT by IMR 4350
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

The link to the indictment is on one of the earlier threads. Its in the article not the thread. Will see if I can find it.

I’m not an expert but I think the .5 inch limit is written into law. Not sure how the 12 gauge is different except its not a rifle caliber.


24 posted on 06/17/2014 4:36:22 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

From this thread - http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3168625/posts

The Search Warrant application - http://archive.wtsp.com/assetpool/documents/140616053710_WintersSearchWarrant.pdf

The Indictment - http://archive.wtsp.com/assetpool/documents/140616053357_WintersIndictment.pdf

The charge is for possessing a firearm which was not registered to him. Guess they are saying its a class III firearm that he had.


25 posted on 06/17/2014 4:40:05 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

The Federal agents could have asked him to make the bore .51 inch for them.


26 posted on 06/17/2014 4:40:26 AM PDT by 2001convSVT (Going Galt as fast as I can.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

Must be for pistol cartridges then. I don’t know. There are rifle cartridges with bigger than 0.5”

My Fathers Day goodies were 4 bullet comparison posters for Handguns, Big Bores, Rifles and Military cartridges. 1:1 scale pictures of each type....neat. Looking for the poster sleeves now.


27 posted on 06/17/2014 4:40:34 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: 2001convSVT
99% of the time this kind of action is opportunity for real training for the Brown Shirts.
It's like local police spending hours getting all dressed up to go kill a dog
while searching for Grandma in the recliner.

This is clearly abuse and reeks of reasoning with lies to cover their arm-chair
military tactics.

Exactly what law has this man broken?

28 posted on 06/17/2014 4:41:10 AM PDT by MaxMax (Pay Attention and you'll be pissed off too! FIRE BOEHNER, NOW!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

If you read through the search warrant he used straw buyers to purchase AR15s and made booby traps which consisted of a 12ga shell in a pipe.

I didn’t make it all the way through so there may be more.


29 posted on 06/17/2014 4:45:05 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

The interesting thing to me is the use of the word “attack” in the article.

Attack does not describe a legitimate law enforcement action. The article doesn’t claim that he was going to attack federal agents, it claims he voiced an intent to respond if attacked.

That should cause free people to demand explanations from the feds.


30 posted on 06/17/2014 4:46:43 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: MaxMax
You spelled it out why I am so skeptical about this. Too much Power in the hands of the Feds for so long has corrupted them.
31 posted on 06/17/2014 4:47:23 AM PDT by 2001convSVT (Going Galt as fast as I can.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
....a 12ga shell in a pipe

IOW, a homemade shotgun. Also, Straw purchasers....seems to me the illegal act is committed by the purchaser. There would have to be some other evidence of the intent and disposition beyond just the purchase.

32 posted on 06/17/2014 4:49:28 AM PDT by Gaffer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: rarestia
Investigators said Winter's plan included killing government agents if he or any member of his group were attacked.

Seems a reasonable position to me.

33 posted on 06/17/2014 4:49:33 AM PDT by Balding_Eagle (Want to keep your doctor? Remove your Democrat Senator.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SampleMan
That should cause free people to demand explanations from the feds.

Well said and exactly one of the key parts to this that have clued me into this being a setup.

The guy might be guilty of stupidity, but I'm not seeing anything other than a bunch of ATF goons trying to jam up a prepper for being prepared.

34 posted on 06/17/2014 4:53:15 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: rarestia
Why do I doubt this?

There currently is no law enforcement presence in the area.

35 posted on 06/17/2014 5:00:12 AM PDT by PAR35
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mark17

There are a few who get in but they don’t last long and can’t move up unless they “play the game”. Their words, not mine


36 posted on 06/17/2014 5:00:35 AM PDT by varyouga
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

No suspicious white powder this time?


37 posted on 06/17/2014 5:02:37 AM PDT by lwd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PAR35

Isn’t that the weirdest sentence you’ve ever seen? Why would that be publicized? They’ve said it on TV as well. Even my wife was left asking why that’s been made public.


38 posted on 06/17/2014 5:03:48 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

If this guy is as well prepared he has food, water, cash transportation and arms.

A bug out spot and a plan.

He is long gone or shots well be fired shortly.


39 posted on 06/17/2014 5:04:52 AM PDT by riverrunner
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: riverrunner
If this guy is as well prepared he has food, water, cash transportation and arms. A bug out spot and a plan. He is long gone or shots well be fired shortly.

Starting to look like his bug-out plan is working .

40 posted on 06/17/2014 5:16:13 AM PDT by piroque ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

I have church frieds that are about 7 houses away. They couldn’t get out of the neighborhood yesterday because of the Feds. They know the guy and are pretty surprised at all the hubbub.


41 posted on 06/17/2014 5:22:04 AM PDT by tbpiper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: rarestia
These days, running from the cops/FBI will get you killed fast. In the eyes of some, being a "Doomsday Prepper" is a capital crime. They even had a television program to portray them as idiots and kooks.

This day and times it is not wise or prudent to say anything to a "friend of a friend" or to respond in kind to a stranger that appears to be overtly friendly. If you don't believe it, ask Randy Weaver.

42 posted on 06/17/2014 5:22:40 AM PDT by sport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer
The early activities bringing about Ruby Ridge come to mind.

When they leaned on Weaver to be an informant, he refused. That's why they went after him.

Not everyone is so steadfast, which is why it doesn't hurt to choose associates very carefully, even if you aren't doing anything wrong--because the rules can change leaving you open to trouble.

Always remember how many people it takes to keep a secret (exactly one).

43 posted on 06/17/2014 5:28:08 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge
It is a set up Sarge. you know that and I know that. Like that idiot they just got convicted from St. Pete, I believe. If you don't want to get caught in something like this, there are two things to do. 1. Don't do "favors" for "a friend of a friend." 2. Watch what you say to anyone you do not know personally and intimately.

They now want to make an example of this guy. His life, as he once knew it is now over.

44 posted on 06/17/2014 5:30:57 AM PDT by sport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
I’m not an expert but I think the .5 inch limit is written into law. Not sure how the 12 gauge is different except its not a rifle caliber.

I'm not so sure. There are a host of .54 and .58 black powder rifles out there.

45 posted on 06/17/2014 5:31:13 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
If you read through the search warrant he used straw buyers to purchase AR15s

Like the 'Fast and Furious' people???

46 posted on 06/17/2014 5:33:11 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Gaffer

They are and have been doing it for years. One way, not foolproof but it will keep you out of trouble if you attend one of these groups is to what the guy that “:makes friends” with you says. Your only response should be, “Not interested”.


47 posted on 06/17/2014 5:34:36 AM PDT by sport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Portcall24

East of Tampa, East of Brandon. West of State road 60 and Sydney-Dover Road.


48 posted on 06/17/2014 5:36:16 AM PDT by sport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: rarestia

A lot of people taken into custody by the FBI die once in custody...could that have made Valrico paranoid to go with them?


49 posted on 06/17/2014 5:38:47 AM PDT by Kackikat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
people who would spout off anti-govt statements advocating violence

"....Those are the ones you avoid conversating with. Just tell them you are not interested. Go no further that that.

50 posted on 06/17/2014 5:39:28 AM PDT by sport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-83 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson