Doomsday prepper Martin Winters heads a group of Florida survivalists who call themselves the River Otter Preppers. Certain that the Biblical “end times” are upon us, the group has been hoarding caches of food and weapons in preparation for the battle to come.
Several months ago the FBI managed to infiltrate the group. After gathering evidence for months, they obtained indictments against Winters and five other members of the group two weeks ago on multiple charges. One of the most serious charges is building destructive devices without a permit.
On Monday FBI agents attempted to stop him and make their arrest on the road. Winters sped away with two grandchildren in the vehicle, which prompted authorities to exercise caution. He later let the children out of the vehicle before abandoning it and running off into the woods to hide from police. Apparently, he did not stockpile enough food. Affter two days in the woods , he surrendered to the FBI in exchange for a Gatorade, two cheeseburgers and fries.
On Tuesday the FBI announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to his capture and warned the public not to approach him as he was considered to be armed and dangerous.
On Wednesday one of Winters’ adult daughters, 26 year old Tracey Winters, contacted attorney Ellis Faught Jr. who had first represented Winters on a hunting violation 35 years ago and told him that her father wanted to turn himself in to authorities. Fraught and Winters drove to an area near Winters’ home southeast of Brandon, Florida where they met Winters and drove him to the FBI office in Tampa to surrender.
“He got in the car immediately, and we didn’t stop anywhere,” Faught said. “We went on State Road 60 all the way in. I just wanted to make sure to get to the FBI office as fast as we could without incident.”
In his first appearance before Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson Winters was respectful, addressing the judge as “sir” but chose to invoke his right to remain silent while his attorney argued that all the evidence that the FBI had was “talk.”
“This is not just talk,” Wilson replied. “There were, in fact, destructive devices found and sold.”
The FBI says that Winters had built and sold explosive devices, that he had several lethal booby traps surrounding his house — where he had cached a large arsenal in preparation to do battle with police and other authorities.
Based on the information provided by the FBI, Wilson ordered Winters held without bail declaring him a danger to the community.
Watch the news report on the insane doomsday prepper’s capture.
Here’s the video from WFLA 8.
h/t: Raw Story