Oldsmar man had explosive device near Jan. 6 anniversary rally in Pinellas, sheriff says
Garrett James Smith, 22, was arrested on charges of making and possessing a destructive device and loitering. He remains in jail on a bond of $300,250.
By Romy Ellenbogen | 7 January 2022
TAMPA BAY TIMES — A 22-year-old Oldsmar man was arrested early Friday morning after being found with a homemade explosive device near the site of an anniversary rally for Jan. 6, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Garrett James Smith was arrested on charges of making and possessing a destructive device and loitering. He remains in jail on a bond of $300,000.
Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Smith was seen running away from a political assembly supporting an arrested Oath Keeper on the evening of Jan. 6, 2022.
Smith did not detonate or place the explosive device he made. Gualtieri said Smith has not been cooperating and the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t know why he abandoned his plan or what his political beliefs are. …
Federal agents who searched Brown’s home found a sawed-off shotgun, short-barrel rifle, hand grenades and more than 8,000 rounds of ammunition. …
When deputies searched a black backpack Smith had, they found a homemade pipe-style explosive device, Gualtieri said. Sheriff’s deputies found a piece of paper titled “direct action checklist,” where Smith made a list of clothing, armor and gear to bring, including listed items such as a helmet and shaded goggles, a gas mask, duct tape and flammable rags.
In his backpack, they also found a helmet with a logo on it that had been seen at other protests in cities such as Portland, where Smith had spent time, Gualtieri said.
In affidavits, the arresting detective, under the “aggravating/mitigating” section of the report, notes “Antifa” and requests a high bail. In one of the reports, the detective wrote “Antifa/Anti gov/Extrem.” […]