Friday, June 22, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater man found with homemade explosives, authorities say

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.

Comments
Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

Tampa boy, 14, shot on bike, police asking for help

TAMPA — De’Nico Thomas, 14, isn’t a bad kid, police say, but he was the victim of a terrible shooting.Thomas had played video games with a friend Wednesday night and was likely bicycling home when someone fired a gun, critically wounding him in the a...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

Clearwater police search for ‘Bic Bandit’ accused of stealing lighters

CLEARWATER — Police detectives are searching for a man coined the "Bic Bandit" based on reports that he’s stolen dozens of lighters from the same 7-Eleven.According to Clearwater police, the man has swiped the lighters four times in the last month, t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

FHP: One dead, three seriously injured in head-on Pasco crash

DADE CITY — A Dade City man was killed and three others were seriously injured after a pickup truck and motorcycle crashed head-on Friday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.Floyd Williamson, 72, of Lakeland, was driving northbound on U....
Updated: 3 hours ago
Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Body of missing Hernando park ranger found in Georgia; boyfriend being questioned

Georgia detectives on Friday recovered the body of Mitzi Marie Babb, a 43-year-old Hernando park ranger who had been missing since Tuesday.Her boyfriend, arrested Thursday on unrelated charges, has been called a person of interest in her disappearanc...
Updated: 5 hours ago
A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

A Pasco driver was annoyed another driver was texting. So he pointed a firearm at her.

PORT RICHEY — A 41-year-old Uber driver was arrested Friday after police said he pointed a firearm at another driver because he was annoyed that she was texting and driving.Philip Macchio was driving near State Road 52 and U.S. 19 around 12:30 a.m. F...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

Deputies: Cheerleading coach sent explicit images to 16-year-old

A 28-year-old cheerleading coach faces charges for engaging in "inappropriate behavior" with a 16-year-old girl, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Victor Martin Valenty faces 10 counts of traveling to meet a minor, distributing ob...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership. Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, o...
Published: 06/21/18
St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

St. Pete police: Three lieutenants lied about their work hours

ST. PETERSBURG — Three lieutenants responsible for supervising the police officers who patrol the city were found to have been faking their work hours instead of showing up for duty on time.In some cases, the watch commanders submitted time sheets st...
Published: 06/21/18
Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

Deputies: Zephyrhills bank robbed, suspect flees on bicycle

A Suntrust Bank in Zephyr-hills was robbed early Thursday afternoon, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.At 12:50 p.m., deputies said, the man walked into the bank at 34511 State Road 54 and presented a note demanding money, though he did ...
Published: 06/21/18
Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

Man found dead in Hillsborough Bay had a big fan in the cat world

TAMPA — To his friends and neighbors at Tampa Baptist Manor, Norman Lester Porterfield was the man who fed and spoiled Lucky, the scruffy stray calico cat in the back yard. To his friends and coworkers at the Salvation Army, he was a great athlete, a...
Published: 06/21/18