State authorities arrested a Clearwater man after investigators found homemade explosive devices in his home.
According to a news release from the state’s chief financial officer, Jared C. Brady, 19, faces charges of possession and manufacturing of explosive devices. He could face up to 15 years in prison.
On Nov. 25, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper stopped a car going 70 mph in a 45 mph zone on East Bay Drive west of Belcher Road, according to a search warrant. Brady was acting nervous, so the trooper asked him to get out of the car. As he was getting out, Brady said he had a machete in his waistband. The trooper handcuffed him and removed it, then searched the car.
Inside, he found a pocket knife, more than 10 lighters, dryer sheets, a flashlight, fire starting rods and bolt cutters, the search warrant says. He also saw a metallic can topped with duct tape on the passenger seat and a flare gun with flares attached but none inside the gun. When asked what was in the can, Brady said it was a homemade smoke bomb made from potassium nitrate and sugar. According to the warrant, that mixture is considered by federal law as an explosive.
Brady told a Largo police investigator that he had made four devices and tested them in John S. Taylor Park. He was planning to take a device to Georgia for a camping trip, according to the warrant. Brady could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Investigators with the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations’ Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms searched Brady’s house at 1928 Temple Ter., according to the release.
They found three improvised explosive devices along with chemicals, manufacturing equipment and records that indicated he had made devices since 2015. Investigators confirmed he had made at least four devices, according to the release.
Brady was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Nov. 29, the day before his birthday. Jail records show he was released Dec. 2 after meeting bail.