Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Jail threats by Hudson gun hoarder confound sentencing hearing (NSFW audio)

TAMPA — For months, gun hoarder Paul Szaraz seethed inside the Citrus County jail, detained on federal charges. In calls home, he talked of hatred, anger and vengeance.

"This anger is never going to go away, never," he said. "This anger, I'm saving, believe me. I have a perfect reason for it, too."

He railed to his longtime girlfriend, Jackie Kubb, about neighbors he blamed for his arrest, calling them "human garbage" and "dirty rats."

Investigators listened and then, recently in U.S. District Court, offered up a disturbing theory about the 47-year-old Hudson tree trimmer who made no secret of his contempt for the government.

The theory: He wanted to have an FBI agent and a witness murdered, or maybe do it himself.

But was it all just bluster?

Psychologist Valerie R. McClain testified Thursday that Szaraz is delusional and constantly manic with poor impulse control. She said he views himself as a victim of a conspiracy. "He is mentally ill," she said. "Without treatment, those beliefs are going to continue and escalate."

She spoke at a sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday. Szaraz pleaded guilty in July to possessing six machine guns, found at his home in March along with eight semiautomatic assault rifles, pistols, another rifle and 17,000 rounds of ammunition. With a history of felony DUI and other offenses, he can't own guns.

FBI Special Agent Ronald Monaco testified that Szaraz offered a fellow inmate $10,000 and part of his tree-trimming business to kill two people he blamed for his arrest.

It was enough to make the U.S. Attorney's Office try to rescind a couple of the proposed deals in his plea agreement.

Federal prosecutor Donald Hansen petitioned Merryday last week to give Szaraz the maximum penalty, 10 years, because of the quantity of weapons found.

In jail calls, Szaraz still claimed a right to bear arms.

That wasn't all he claimed.

He said the government was going to kick in doors and drag everyone to FEMA camps. Disney World was part of New World Order. Mexicans were taking over the country. The Marines were corrupted by Satanists.

"I hate this system with all my guts," he told his girlfriend. "I just hate and hate and hate and hate."

In the end, Judge Merryday gave Szaraz five years and three months, not 10 years.

He was unconvinced that Szaraz intended to have anyone killed; still he called the case "bothersome."

Szaraz was entitled to hate, if he wanted, and he was entitled to entertain an "unjustified construction of the Second Amendment," if he chose, the judge said.

His order included mental health evaluation and treatment.

Defense attorney John Trevena put on witnesses who either accepted Szaraz's rants as quirks or agreed with some of his views.

Kubb, the girlfriend, said Szaraz isn't a "prepper," a Nazi, a Ku Klux Klan member or a sovereign citizen, just a hard-working man who put family first though he lost his own family as a young boy.

Szaraz spoke, too.

"I have a big obnoxious mouth, bottom line," he said.

Facing a possible 10 years, Paul Szaraz was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Facing a possible 10 years, Paul Szaraz was sentenced to five years and three months in prison.

Jail threats by Hudson gun hoarder confound sentencing hearing (NSFW audio) 10/03/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 4, 2013 8:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. As Trump's fraud commission sought data, some Florida voters cancelled registrations

    Blogs

    After news spread last month that President Donald Trump’s fraud commission was requesting voter data from all 50 states, 1,715 voters in Florida took themselves off the …

    Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach (R) and US Vice President Mike Pence, attend the first meeting of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on July 19, in Washington, DC.
  2. We're big fans of keeping it cool with fun inside this summer

    Events

    It's safe to say we take the complex, mysterious unicorn of air conditioning for granted.

    How cold is too cold? Researchers have tried for years to determine an ideal thermostat setting for offices, and it’s a hard question to answer.
  3. Former SEAL Kristin Beck blasts Trump decision banning transgenders from military

    Military

    Kristin Beck, a former member of SEAL Team 6 who is now a transgender woman, says the decision by President Donald Trump to ban transgender people from serving in the military would cost more in lawsuits than the savings Trump touted in medical and other costs.

    Kristin Beck, who has transitioned from former Navy SEAL Chris Beck, says President Trump's ban on transgender people in the military disrupts ongoing efforts to integrate them into the services. [Times file]
  4. 5 things to do under $5 July: Bucs training camp, Dive-In Movie, free Glazer Museum admission

    Events

    1 Bucs Training Camp: The public is invited to a series of free Bucs practices through Aug. 26. And don't forget this season HBO's Hard Knocks will focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including quarterback Jameis Winston, right. There will be discounted concessions, merchandise tents, appearances by …

    LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times (2016) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.
  5. Rose McGowan will replace Val Kilmer at Tampa Bay Comic Con

    Blogs

    Well, that was fast. Less than a day after announcing that one-time Batman Val Kilmer canceled his appearance at Tampa Bay Comic Con, organizers say actress Rose McGowan will take his place at the geek-tastic event running Friday to Sunday at the Tampa Convention center.

    Rose McGowan and her then-husband Davey Detail in 2013.