Police in Florida said they apprehended a guy after he fled a rally in support of a rioter on January 6 and discovered a pipe bomb in his rucksack.
The sheriff of Pinellas County, Bob Gualtieri, claimed in a news conference on Friday that Garrett Smith, 22, was observed fleeing away from a throng of 85 protestors on Thursday in support of Jeremy Brown, accusing them of treating him like a “political prisoner.”
Police apprehended Smith, Florida man, post 7:30 p.m. and examined his bag, discovering a pipe bomb and a “Direct Action Checklist” listing the items of clothes and “gear” he had on, including a “combustible rags, smoke rockets, pepper spray, folders, and gas mask,” according to Gualtieri.
The “iron front” logo, utilized by Antifa militants, is supposedly on the helmet Smith was wearing.
Clearing the protest area was done by the bomb squad of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office when they discovered the explosive device was functioning.
Another hand grenade and pipe type devices were located in Smith’s home after law enforcement obtained a search warrant.
According to Gualtieri, authorities were unable to ascertain Smith’s purpose or political leanings because he refused to speak with them.
“Smith refused to give any information, he refused to talk to deputies, so we really have no idea as to what his political leanings are and whether he supported or opposed the protesters at the jail. We also don’t know exactly what his plan was or why Smith was running away from the protest area when he was apprehended by deputies and before he had an opportunity to detonate the explosive device,” Gualtieri said.
In addition, the official claims that Smith has just visited the city of Portland, Oregon.
A person’s lack of criminal past makes Smith one of the “most frightening persons,” according to Gualtieri.
“Smith has no criminal history, no social media accounts that we can find, and there’s no prior intelligence information about Smith. Smith is what we call a sleeper, and these are the most concerning individuals because there’s no opportunity to intervene and thwart their criminal activity until they actually act,” Gualtieri said.
One allegation of loitering and prowling and three charges of possessing a harmful device were filed against Smith, who is being detained on a $300,250 bail.“We’re fortunate in this situation that something caused Smith to flee before he ignited the explosive device and the deputies were able to apprehend him,” Gualtieri said.