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. Early estimates peg Hurricane Irma damage at as much as $65B

    Banking

    The damage totals from Hurricane Irma are still being tallied, but early numbers are in: As of Tuesday, the storm is estimated to have caused between $42.5 billion and $65 billion of damage. That's according to a Tuesday release by Irvine, Calif.-based analytics company CoreLogic.

    Hurricane Irma is estimated to have caused up to $65 billion in damage, said analytics company CoreLogic. Pictured is 
Hermilo Munoz Castillo as wades down a flooded street to check on his home in southern Collier County, Fla. after Hurricane Irma passed. | [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Port Tampa Bay makes public/private commitment for $60 million expansion project

    Business

    TAMPA — Port Tampa Bay approved a public-private partnership agreement with four other entities to divvy up who will pay for a $60 million widening and extension of the Big Bend Channel.

    Port Tampa Bay approved a participation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Transportation, Tampa Electric Company and Mosaic Company at the port's monthly board meeting on  Tuesday. Port Tampa Bay President & CEO Paul Anderson signs the agreement as Ram Kancharla; Port Tampa Bay's vice president of planning & development, Brandon Burch; project manager at United States Army Corps of Engineers, Lois Moore; of Alcalde and Fay and Charles Klug; Port Tampa Bay principal counsel, and Tim Murphy; deputy district engineer of the Army Corps., looks on. [Company handout]
  3. 7.1 magnitude quake kills more than 40, collapses buildings in Mexico

    World

    MEXICO CITY — A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing dozens of people, collapsing buildings and scattering rubble on streets less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south.

    Rescue workers and volunteers search a building that collapsed after an earthquake in downtown Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. A powerful earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, causing buildings to sway sickeningly in the capital on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that did major damage. [Rebecca Blackwell | Associated Press]
  4. Hurricane Maria slams Dominica, now takes aim at Puerto Rico

    Hurricanes

    ROSEAU, Dominica — Dominica's leader sent out an emotional plea for help as Hurricane Maria smashed into the Caribbean island causing "mind-boggling" devastation, but an ominous silence followed …

    [National Hurricane Center]
  5. Tampa Bay concert venues offer deals, take donations for Hurricane Irma victims

    Blogs

    After a week-plus of concert cancellations brought on by Hurricane Irma, the Tampa Bay music scene is ready to get back to work. And Irma is still front and center in everyone's minds.

    Victor Wainwright