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Doomsday Prepper Martin Winters Surrenders, Held Without Bail
Tampa Bay Timess ^ | June 18, 2014 | Patty Ryan & Dan Sullivan,

Posted on 06/19/2014 5:24:39 AM PDT by Iron Munro

TAMPA — Federal authorities sought doomsday prepper Martin Winters for two days in the woods of east Hillsborough County, attempting to arrest him on weapons charges.

On the third day, agents didn't need to look far at all.

Winters, soggy-shoed and hungry, waited with a daughter in a car outside the FBI field office on Gray Street in Tampa on Wednesday morning as his attorneys stepped up to a reception desk and arranged his surrender.

In trade, he got cheeseburgers, fries, Gatorade, dry shoes, praise from the FBI and a morning free of gunfire — all this from the agency that had spent months chronicling his antigovernment rhetoric and spying on his preparations for an imminent "last stand" with law enforcement.

"We're glad to report that Mr. Winters did the right thing," said FBI spokesman David Couvertier. "We were hoping for a peaceful resolution, and today we got that."

Winters invoked his right to remain silent and was moved to the federal courthouse in downtown Tampa for a first appearance before Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson.

The defendant's three adult daughters sobbed when he was led into the room in restraints. He wore dark camouflage pants and a brown T-shirt, his face rimmed by a Zeus-like mane of churning black and white curls.

He stood when the judge entered the room. He called Wilson "Sir."

But Wilson called Winters a danger to the community and ordered him held without bail.

Federal authorities say Winters, 55, leads a group known as the River Otter Preppers that advocates survival preparations in advance of an end-times event foretold in the Bible's Book of Revelation.

He and five others were indicted by a grand jury nearly two weeks ago. He's accused of designing and building destructive devices without a permit, among other charges. He pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorney Ellis Faught Jr., who first represented Winters 35 years ago on a hunting violation, told the judge that an undercover FBI agent who spent months building a case against Winters had witnessed only talk.

But Wilson didn't accept that.

"This is not just talk," the judge said. "There were, in fact, destructive devices found and sold."

Winters talked about booby traps and stashes of weapons he had around his house at 3032 Williams Blvd., according to an FBI affidavit. He also discussed elaborate plans to kill government agents in the event that they raided his property.

The FBI had tried to arrest Winters on Monday as he was driving near Durant High School in east Hillsborough County, but he sped away.

Prosecutor Donald Hansen told the judge that agents exercised caution because Winters' two grandchildren were with him. Eventually, he let them out and then abandoned the vehicle and ran into the brush.

On Tuesday, the FBI announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to Winters' capture, calling him "armed and dangerous."

"It could have been a catastrophe had he not turned himself in," attorney Faught said.

The surrender process began with a phone call just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to Faught.

Winters' 26-year-old daughter, Tracey Winters, arranged to meet the attorney at his office. Once there, she said her father wanted to surrender, Faught said. They picked him up in the general area of his home, several miles southeast of Brandon.

"He got in the car immediately, and we didn't stop anywhere," Faught said. "We went on State Road 60 all the way in. I just wanted to make sure to get to the FBI office as fast as we could without incident."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: fbi; fblie; martinwinters; prepper; prepping
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The FBI targeted Winters by planting an informer to stooge him out and Winters made it easy for them by talking too much.

Remember OPSEC.

A lot (but not all) of the charges against Winters are for thought crimes - what he would do in a SHTF world.
But thanks to the Patriot Act, our police state government can easily turn idle talk into a federal crime.

Other stories for backbround:

Valrico Doomsday Prepper Plotted Confrontation With Government Agents, FBI Says

Why The FBI Was Searching For ‘Doomsday Prepper’ Who Neighbors Say Has ‘Views That Are Different From Other People’

FBI: Valrico Man Wanted For Making Destructive Devices

1 posted on 06/19/2014 5:24:39 AM PDT by Iron Munro
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To: Iron Munro

Hmmm. Wonder when the lsm will declare him a Tea Party supporter? And, it has to be realized that, while the nsa can’t find lois’ emails, they could sure as hell find any one of ours. Keep on FReepin’ on. You KNOW they’re watching this site. :>}


2 posted on 06/19/2014 5:27:56 AM PDT by rktman (Ethnicity: Nascarian. Race: Daytonafivehundrian)
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To: Iron Munro

What’s the destructive device that he is accused of making?

A gun?


3 posted on 06/19/2014 5:28:47 AM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: Iron Munro
The FBI had tried to arrest Winters on Monday as he was driving near Durant High School in east Hillsborough County, but he sped away.

This writer is terrible and completely misinformed. Winters fled on foot into a wooded area. He didn't "speed away."

He wore dark camouflage pants and a brown T-shirt, his face rimmed by a Zeus-like mane of churning black and white curls.

What is this? 11th grade English? You trying to win a Pulitzer with this tripe?

He's accused of designing and building destructive devices without a permit, among other charges.

And there's the rub. So it's not that he used them or sold them. He's just accused of designing and building them without a permit? So lemme ask knowledgeable FReepers: is the DESIGN of a "destructive device" illegal? I used to draw sketches of airplanes when I was in middle school. They were detailed down to wingspans, fuel capacities, and crew. Am I guilty of a crime for having drawn these fictional "destructive devices?"

I hope this guys is acquitted and sues the pants off the ATF for harassment. This is absolutely ridiculous. Prove to me that he sold these devices or that they even existed. I'm calling this whole damn thing a witch hunt.

FReepers beware! This is what our government wants to do to ALL of us!

4 posted on 06/19/2014 5:31:54 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: rktman

IMO they do more than watch. They’ll instigate both to produce content which can be used to discredit but also to ferret out anti-govt types. Who they then track down and do further investigations on.


5 posted on 06/19/2014 5:32:20 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: Girlene

A smallpipe with a 12 ga shell in it. Poor mans claymore for perimeter protection.


6 posted on 06/19/2014 5:33:30 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: rktman

What pisses me off is that the ATF and FBI spent all this time tracking down a single man in the sticks while a large Islamic organization (CAIR) with KNOWN ties to Islamic extremist groups goes undisturbed on 56th Street in east Tampa.


7 posted on 06/19/2014 5:34:02 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: Girlene

He probably had some plumbing parts and ammo reloading supplies in his basement. This become “he was stockpiling materials for construction of pipe bombs” in the indictment to come.

Regarding the grand jury - an ambitious, competent prosecutor can get an indictment against a ham sandwich.


8 posted on 06/19/2014 5:35:29 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Iron Munro

The FBI’s idea of conducting an investigation is to wave money around hoping to attract potential informants, without which they couldn’t solve your average dog-bite case.


9 posted on 06/19/2014 5:35:43 AM PDT by ComputerGuy
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To: FreedomPoster

Correction - workshop, not basement. He’s in Florida, they don’t have basements.


10 posted on 06/19/2014 5:36:12 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: driftdiver

AKA the Randy Weaver approach.


11 posted on 06/19/2014 5:37:25 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: driftdiver

Thank you.


12 posted on 06/19/2014 5:42:55 AM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: Iron Munro

The first rule of survival clud is you don’t talk about survival club.


13 posted on 06/19/2014 5:43:54 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: Iron Munro
They've stepped up the bureaucratic involvement. I read a story years ago about a guy arrested by the ATF for having 'bomb-making materials'...which were nothing more than chemicals he had for keeping his saltwater fish tanks.

It's gotten beyond ridiculous.

14 posted on 06/19/2014 5:46:30 AM PDT by MamaTexan (I am a Person as created by the Laws of Nature, not a person as created by the laws of Man)
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To: Iron Munro

I’m confused. What did he actually do?


15 posted on 06/19/2014 5:47:15 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: FreedomPoster

see post 6 for driftdriver’s explanation of what he built or had plans for.


16 posted on 06/19/2014 5:47:52 AM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: rarestia

You might want to try rereading that paragraph. He first sped away in his car and then abandoned the car to flee on foot.


17 posted on 06/19/2014 5:48:08 AM PDT by Bob
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To: rarestia

Well, I suppose that the folks out in east Tampa must be part of one of the “protected” classes. How far off I-4 are these religious freedom seeking folks?


18 posted on 06/19/2014 5:48:39 AM PDT by rktman (Ethnicity: Nascarian. Race: Daytonafivehundrian)
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To: driftdiver

So I take it it is illegal to build one of those. What about having the parts and a design? What’s wrong with that? Lots of people have pipes and 12 ga shells. What’s wrong with having knowledge of how to build something like that?


19 posted on 06/19/2014 5:50:22 AM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: rktman
Winters talked about booby traps and stashes of weapons he had around his house at 3032 Williams Blvd., according to an FBI affidavit.

This is the first and biggest mistake detractors of the government and those who have the foresight to prepare for the inevitable make.

The first rule is silence backed up by well-though preparation.

Those who violate this are the reason why CIs exist at all.

20 posted on 06/19/2014 5:53:51 AM PDT by Gaffer
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To: rarestia
FReepers beware! This is what our government wants to do to ALL of us!

Yes they do. F them.

21 posted on 06/19/2014 5:56:53 AM PDT by Mark17 (Rudyard Kipling: Liberals be wary, when the SHTF, The Wrath of the Awakened Saxon will clobber you)
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To: Girlene
What’s the destructive device that he is accused of making?
A gun?

Sounds like he might have been making a perfectly legal device known as a "Slam-Bang Shotgun".
Also known as a "Philippine Guerrilla Gun" or a "Richardson Gun".

It's more or less a 12 Ga. Zip Gun.

The simple version is two pieces of steel water pipe and a pipe cap.

Instructions are all over the net - just Google the term.

Here is a video of one example:

$7 12-Gauge Zip Gun Homemade Shotgun


22 posted on 06/19/2014 6:01:49 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas' Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: Girlene
So I take it it is illegal to build one of those

Not at all.

They are perfectly legal.

See my post #22 and watch the video.


23 posted on 06/19/2014 6:04:25 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas' Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: rarestia

Well when a child makes a maybe..gun out of a pop-tart,then gets the third degree and kick out of school...We should have seen this was coming. We are now being hunted for free thinking.


24 posted on 06/19/2014 6:06:52 AM PDT by baddog 219
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To: Iron Munro
At least they did not get to kill him like they hoped. His two daughters being with him would have presented no problem for them explaining their deaths as well as his. However, the deaths of two attorneys would have presented a problem for them to explain. The FBI agents are probably still cussing because not only did they not get to kill someone, they did not get to burn any live children to death.
25 posted on 06/19/2014 6:07:19 AM PDT by sport
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To: rktman

And so is the FBI, the Secret Service, the NSA.


26 posted on 06/19/2014 6:08:25 AM PDT by sport
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To: rarestia

The so called judge has already passed judgment ,that he is guilty .


27 posted on 06/19/2014 6:10:33 AM PDT by piroque ("In times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act")
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To: FreedomPoster

Next they’ll tell me I cant keep empty beer bottles and gasoline in my garage . . .


28 posted on 06/19/2014 6:11:57 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (>> F U B O << "What the hell kind of country is this if I can only hate a man if he's white?")
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To: circlecity

What’s the second rule?


29 posted on 06/19/2014 6:13:25 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: ├čudda├čudd

Good point - a recycling bin, gas for the lawn mower / leaf blower, and shop rags, and per the ambitious prosecutor, you were STOCKPILING MATERIALS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF MOLOTOV COCKTAILS!

Double trouble if you are stockpiling MILITARY HI-CAPACITY (wine) BOTTLES instead of beer bottles.


30 posted on 06/19/2014 6:16:16 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: rarestia

My FRiend, we now live in the age of Obama and have since November 4, 2008. Everything, except the worship of Obama, including breathing , without a permit, is forbidden. And soon the punishment for doing so will be death.


31 posted on 06/19/2014 6:17:17 AM PDT by sport
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"What’s the second rule?"

Survive

32 posted on 06/19/2014 6:17:31 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: piroque

I can’t wait to see the material evidence the DON’T have against him.


33 posted on 06/19/2014 6:18:23 AM PDT by ryan71 (The Partisans)
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To: rarestia

The groups you mentioned are their friends and allies. We are their enemy.


34 posted on 06/19/2014 6:19:09 AM PDT by sport
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To: circlecity
No, the second rule of survival club is you don’t talk about survival club.


35 posted on 06/19/2014 6:19:38 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: FreedomPoster

Yep.


36 posted on 06/19/2014 6:20:19 AM PDT by sport
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To: Gaffer

One of the first rules of thumb, SHUT UP! The second rule of thumb is, SHUT UP! For the most part, it does NOT pay to advertise. The powers that be, and just about everyone else, can already find out way more about you than you would like. No sense in helping them if you can avoid it. Kind of like concealed carry vs open carry. Stay in the dang shadows and don’t advertise what a bad ass you think you might be. Fly low and as much off the radar as you can.


37 posted on 06/19/2014 6:21:05 AM PDT by rktman (Ethnicity: Nascarian. Race: Daytonafivehundrian)
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To: AppyPappy
I’m confused. What did he actually do?

It's always hard to tell from these poorly written articles.

From what I read the real charge that might stick is that he (and others) were making an illegal "straw purchese" of a firearm.

A firearm "straw purchase" is when one person acts as an agent to buy a gun for another person with the intent of hiding the identity of the final owner.

Gifts are supposedly excluded.


38 posted on 06/19/2014 6:22:59 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The Obamas' Black skin has morphed into Teflon thanks to the Obama Media)
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To: Girlene; rarestia

“What’s the destructive device that he is accused of making? A gun?”

The term “destructive device” is a legal term spelled out in an act of congress, not common parlance. It has a specific definition, it’s not just some bit of word soup that can refer to whatever in the hell people want it to mean at the moment; in this case the term refers to items specifically defined in the National Firearms Act of 1934. It’s not a term that can refer to any gun, or a dangerous idea you come up with.

Look up 26 U.S.C. § 5845 subsection (f).
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5845

As a general rule any time you see charges describing a destructive device the charges will likely be referring to pipe bombs and suchlike.

A note about the NFA — the act was drafted back when Congress actually thought it was kindof bound by the constitution, so the act doesn’t actually ban the devices mentioned, merely levies a tax upon them and requires some form of application/registration for the possession, transfer, or construction of said items. This act was drafted back before the FDR administration successfully gutted most restrictions on federal authority.

Some states do effectively ban some of the items regulated under the NFA, some don’t; consequently you’ll find that in some states people are legally playing around with federally registered and taxed things like 40mm HEDP and RPGs — rare but interesting.

In this case the individual in question is being charged with the untaxed construction/transfer/sale/whatever of, effectively, pipe bombs.


39 posted on 06/19/2014 6:23:37 AM PDT by jameslalor
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To: circlecity

And each morning you wake up the words,”Lose lips sink ships”, are the first sound from your mouth. And when you go to bed, the words, “lose lips sink ships” are the last thought going through your mind. Don’t follow this train of thought, and you will live to regret it, though your regret may only be a millisecond.


40 posted on 06/19/2014 6:24:59 AM PDT by sport
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To: Iron Munro

Thanks! I’ve never seen anything like that. According to that video, you still need paperwork to make one of those.


41 posted on 06/19/2014 6:25:54 AM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: Iron Munro

I recall when the Obama Justice Dept. arrested a bunch of guys from Michigan and Indiana for similar charges. After spending a substantial time in jail awaiting trial the case turned out to be BS and fell apart. (They may have called their group the “Hutrees” or something like that). The moral of the story is if you appear on their radar they will manufacture some reason to put you down. STFU and do what you have to do within the law.


42 posted on 06/19/2014 6:26:46 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Remember the first rule.


43 posted on 06/19/2014 6:27:19 AM PDT by sport
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To: Kartographer

Ping worthy


44 posted on 06/19/2014 6:29:01 AM PDT by verga (Conservative, leaning libertarian)
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To: jameslalor

Thank you. Whether it’s a pipe bomb or a zip gun, I would assume they would have to prove he actually made one (without the proper “paperwork”)...not just talk about it.


45 posted on 06/19/2014 6:30:12 AM PDT by Girlene (Hey NSA!)
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To: Iron Munro
He also discussed elaborate plans to kill government agents in the event that they raided his property.

Isn't it better to use the generic term "zombies" when talking about protecting your property?

46 posted on 06/19/2014 6:33:52 AM PDT by Starstruck (If my reply offends, you probably don't understand sarcasm or criticism...or do.)
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To: rktman

Speaking of operating without a permit, I’d like to see a copy of the FBI’s Congressionally passed legislative charter. A citation to the United States Code will be sufficient.


47 posted on 06/19/2014 6:34:00 AM PDT by Ahithophel (Communication is an art form susceptible to sudden technical failures)
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To: Iron Munro

Christ! You do know most states have laws banning the possession or construction of zip guns? It’s a bit hair-brained to call them “perfectly legal”, either that or just plain entrapment on your part.

And, no, it doesn’t sound like he was making a zip gun. I’ve seen examples of booby-traps recovered from raided grow-ops that were constructed as generally outlined in the articles that describe this arrest. The devices I’m thinking of do very decidedly meet the NFA’s definition of a DD.


48 posted on 06/19/2014 6:37:50 AM PDT by jameslalor
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To: appalachian_dweller; OldPossum; DuncanWaring; VirginiaMom; CodeToad; goosie; kalee; ...

See Post #35 this thread for some good advise.

Seems funny to me that they can spend this much time and money on this one man meanwhile on the border they are allowing all kinds on contraband from drugs to weapons as well as everybody from future lifetime welfare queens, drug lords, street hoodlums and terrorist to cross over.


49 posted on 06/19/2014 6:41:49 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: sport

first,,,


50 posted on 06/19/2014 6:42:40 AM PDT by Big Red Badger ( - William Diamonds Drum - can You Hear it G man?)
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