FBI Manhunt Is On: “Crazy Prepper on the Loose”

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Top Tier Gear USA


The mainstream media hasn’t had any good crazy prepper stories lately, but all of that changed with this breaking news about a manhunt in rural Florida.

Martin Howard Winters of Valrico, Florida remains “at large” after authorities attempted to arrest him for building lethal booby traps.

An article in the Tampa Bay Times says:

He [Winters] and five other people were indicted June 5 by a federal grand jury on sealed charges that arose from an investigation of a group called the River Otter Preppers, which Winters headed, according to court records.

The destructive devices — metal tubes designed to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells — were intended to function as booby traps, according to a 24-page search warrant affidavit that lays out the government’s case.

Winters and the River Otter Preppers “are preparing for an end-of-times event as prophesied by the Book of Revelations in the Bible which he believes will occur in the near future,” the affidavit states, “which will require individuals to rely on themselves for food and protection from other individuals and the federal government.”

Last October, Winters told an FBI undercover employee that he had spent $200,000 on his preparations and that he had buried 60 AR-15 firearms in four barrels in the ground, the record states. They toured the neighborhood, and Winters pointed out bunkers that he keeps on three east Hillsborough County properties, two on Williams Boulevard and one on Spring Road.

He talked about shooting government agents in the back, first snagging them with fishhooks that would pop out of air-pressured pipes mounted on the eaves of porches. “Winters will then shoot the agents while they are entangled in the hooks,” Special Agent Ronald Monaco wrote in the affidavit.

An unidentified FBI employee spent months in talks with Winters and wrote that he also talked of shooting tanks of propane gas to kill government agents as they entered his property.

ABC News fanned the flame of fear with these quotes from terrified neighbors.

  • “Crazy,” said neighbor Terrell Crosby. “I hope they get him — I really do.”
  • “All these vehicles start piling in here,” said Mindy Murray, who saw law enforcement arrive to search for Winters. “I’m scared to death.”

The adamantly liberal anti-gun website Gawker, didn’t pull any punches with their headline: Crazy Prepper on the Loose in Florida After Feds Fail to Catch Him.  Interesting the quotes they used from neighbors were quite supportive of Winters (but maybe those neighbors are “crazy preppers” too)

Neighbors say he has been stock-piling weapons, food and other items, preparing for the end of the world.

“He’s a prepper. A preparer for the end. Because biblically, the time’s right,” said Tom, a friend of Winters’ who was riding his motorcycle near the home Monday.

Tom says he and others would attend weekly church services held on Winters’ porch, where he would quote Bible verses and cite current events suggesting the end of times is near.

Tom, was not the only neighbor who seemed more than a little sympathetic to Winters’ eschatological anti-government survivalism, according to a report by local FOX 13 News:

“Marty is a good guy. He has views that are different from other people,” said Vincent Bernard, who rents from Winters.

He’s a doomsday prepper, according to the FBI, and he leads the “River Otter Preppers.”

Officials say they’re preparing for an end-of-days event.

“He loves God I know that he reads a lot of Book of Revelations,” said Bernard. (source)

Gawker concluded with this gem of non-biased journalism:

Winters is still at large and apparently still among equally delusional friends in Valrico. “Any man, an American, anybody has a right to defend their property,” his neighbor Tom told WTSP. “Anybody, against invasion. When anarchy kicks in, he doesn’t want to expose himself to the gunfire downtown.” (source)

(Is it just me, or do you ever read stuff that is meant to be insulting mockery, but their “supporting evidence” merely proves your point?)

The FBI is offering a $5000 reward for information on the whereabouts of Winters. Spokesman Dave Couvertier described the search for the “doomsday prepper”.

When agents tried to stop his vehicle Monday in Plant City, Winters almost struck two officers while trying to speed away, Couvertier said. Some of the agents followed Winters but did not try to keep pace with him.

“Our personnel did not try to pursue at that rate, so that created a distance between our units and Mr. Winters,” Couvertier said.

Agents lost sight of his vehicle multiple times and later found it abandoned and overheated, he said. Steam seeped from the engine, an indication of the speed he traveled to flee agents.

Couvertier said the FBI wants to end the search peacefully. But the chance that Winters, described as a skilled survivalist, may be accessing hidden weapons or receiving help from friends is a concern.

“This is being blown out of proportion based on his actions,”Couvertier said.

“We continue to hear that Mr. Winters is a good person, that he provides for his neighbors and friends,” he continued. “We hope Mr. Winters doesn’t disappoint them.” (source)

Another “expert” has gotten some great airtime from this manhunt by sharing his opinion on the search for Winters. Retired  former SWAT leader Brian Kensel doesn’t believe that Winters will go down without a fight.

“Every arrest we make has that potential, but in this case that potential is a little higher than normal. Saying ‘FBI stop! Put your hands up, you’re arrested’ means nothing if you don’t care if you live or die.” (source)

Any time the mainstream media begins breathlessly relating a story about dangerous “Doomsday Preppers” I instantly regard the alleged facts of the case with a healthy degree of suspicion. So the question is, would the prosecution of the River Otter Preppers be part of the move to demonize “right wing extremists” or is this a legitimate crime?  Is Winters just another in a long line of patsies?

If you’re critical of the government these days, it seems to be awfully easy to be painted as a deranged killer or psychotic terrorist.  It would certainly be interesting to hear more from the folks on the other side of this case, but conveniently for the government agencies, they’re all in jail.

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Contributed by Daisy Luther of The Daily Sheeple.

Daisy Luther is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. She lives on a small organic farm in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. Daisy is the creator of The Organic Prepper where she writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She can be contacted at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca. Wake the flock up!

Wake The Flock Up! Please Share With Sheeple Far & Wide:
  • Mike

    This is why you don’t publicize your preps.

    • Thomas Lindell

      Agreed sharing is stupid. That being said i hope he stays free and hidden.

      • R Wing

        He turned himself in earlier today.

    • Rogoraeck

      Agree! Nihil Fidei!

    • Ken, Megapolis

      Mike is another friend most of us would be glad to have on Facebook. The strong silent type who no-one would (Bush’s word) misunderestimate. God bless you and your preps Mike

  • matism

    May he have success in his stand against the treasonous swill.

  • Good idea, thanks!

  • Manny Buggers

    Funny world we find ourselves in these days….with the now proven lies and frame ups of innocent people for their TERROR plots by the f.b.i and their corrupt allies….who in their right mind wouldn’t do their best to defend themselves against such corruption….let God sort ’em out!

  • Jason Bradley

    If he wants to build booby traps on his own property, what’s the problem? It’s HIS property. It’d be different if he were doing it elsewhere. This is just designed to villify so called “preppers”.

    • Thomas Parker

      Even on your own property, they’re illegal

      • Jason Bradley

        and do you not see how idiotic that is?

        • Thomas Parker

          I think the idea is that trespassing doesn’t warrant being killed. For instance, foolish children, metermen, and law enforcement officers. Makes sense to me.

          • Jason Bradley

            I’d be willing to bet that he had a fence, metermen don’t exist anymore (smart meters), and fuck the pigs.

          • Thomas Parker

            Still illegal and killing pigs is very illegal

          • Jason Bradley

            It shouldn’t be. They kill innocent civilians every single day. Law is the opposite of freedom. Anarchy is the future.

          • Thomas Parker

            Suggest you move to It-Shouldn’t-Be. I hear it’s real nice this time of year. Avoid August-the tourists take over, or so I’ve been told.

          • Jason Bradley

            You’re really ignorant, Thomas. The change is on the way. You’re just too blind to see it.

          • Thomas Parker

            I do see a lot of revolutionary wannabes, running around in the woods playing soldier, and I do hear a lot of big talk-“Change is on the way”-but you pussies ain’t gonna do shit.

          • Jason Bradley

            Wow, Thomas, I have to admit that I’m very impressed with you now. You’re a tough guy from behind a keyboard. Lol.

  • nick

    Its all over the local news here in Venice fl home of the terrorist training hes not far north of here blackhawks up and down the coast yesterday the guy is wanted for having some more food than some one else and yes this is the same Venice fl were the aka 911 terrorist were trained I have been telling my friends and family this is were the next false flag is going to happen

  • Viagravated

    Sounds like the problem is the US Government. The guy was building devices to protect his own land. I see no problem here except for overbearing “authority.”

  • whitefeather

    And yet, the Nobel Peace Messiah is creating hate and discontent all over the world, which will cost way more lives than this guy had ever considered.

  • fatwillie

    We have accusations, by people and organizations that are not to reliable. Example the FBI. Now it would be nice to hear the other side of the story before one comments or reacts as we are a republic, and that means a nation of laws, and the bill of rights and constitution. I hope if this man is innocent, he is not gunned down without due process, meaning by FBI or police, as they seem to think they are now judge, jury and executioner. I hope he gets his day in court, if he can find a fair one remaining in this nation. Many a patriot has been accused of many different things only to be eliminated for nothing more then voicing his or her opinion.

  • Later…


    Daisy really?

    You are helping to spread the crazy around just by writing
    this article.

    I personally, would also Not, want this person as a

    What if my grandchild or dog wandered over.

    Are we to believe that it is OK to kill innocent

    This site has some useful articles but it has become
    something else.

    I will view it from now on as the comedy central of crazy
    preppers that contribute to it.

    This is the coffin nail.

    I mean Wow.

    You people really are dangerous…

    • Thomas Parker

      The paranoids have definitely taken over.

      • Justin OB

        You havent taken over. Stop being so grandiose troll master

        • Thomas Parker

          No. It’s my job.

          • Rivenburg

            how much DOES treason pay these days?

          • Jeffersonian

            I wonder if his boss is the feds or the banks that open up shady business fronts with shady bosses that report back to its wall street fat cat banker.

          • Rivenburg

            feds Id say, way too far away from immediate profits for the bankers, they leave the social manipulation to the bureaucrats.

          • Thomas Parker

            I’m not sure, but I think the money comes from Bill Gates. George Soros is our intellectual guru-his brain is massive.

    • PJ London

      If you do not want him as a neighbour, I am sure that you are free to move.
      If you do not like the site, you are free not to visit.
      Unless and until he causes harm to you, you have no right impinge on his freedom.
      You own kitchen knives, why should you not be locked away, as they could be used to harm visitors or innocent trespassers?
      You and your ilk are the really dangerous ones, unless you prefer “1984” to the current society.

    • Jeffersonian

      Troll alert! I smell paid trolls on the lose!

  • Demonocracy

    “He talked about shooting government agents in the back, first snagging them with fishhooks that would pop out of air-pressured pipes mounted on the eaves of porches.”

    Wow, I like this prepper! That’s the same thing Pinhead does in Hellraiser!

  • R Wing

    As an fyi, he turned himself in about mid day on the 18th.

  • Thomas Parker

    Ponce: A little advice-don’t believe everything you read. If I remember my business law, a land patent involves land granted by royality. Recently unscrupulous lawyers have preyed on the ignorant by telling them that land patents will shield them from contracts and property taxes. Of course, the low IQ teabaggers are their number one pigeons. Question: are you a crook or a victim?

  • Undecider

    The only thing he did wrong was open his mouth.

  • Thomas Parker

    Guilty. I am head troll for the Pacific Northweat district. Normally I wouldn’t be down in trenches actually trolling but Walter is getting married on Saturaday so I’m filling in. I had forgotten how much fun there is in irritating rightwing-nuts. May decide to volunteer for weekend work.

  • Thomas Parker

    You don’t pay property taxes? Shame on you. Because such governmental services such as public safety and education are primarily paid by the local taxes you are avoiding, you are basically a parasite. Be careful. They’ll get you one day.

    • Liberty’s Teeth

      Parasite. Now that’s rich. Big things are coming.

  • Scott

    Stray Bird dog is innocent until proven guilty.Mr. Pepper Extremist is guilty until proven innocent.

    • Jeffersonian

      Ain’t that the damn truth! Hell, I remember the media and feds painting the Michigan militia members like this, and after a year, and lots of $$$ the Michigan militia members were cleared of all charges! So, I have little faith in this article. The fbi is always out there attempting to turn someone into a boogy-man, like the Tsarnev Bro’s or the mentally challenged boys that get tattoos of the fbi front store’s logo.

      • Thomas Parker

        Since 2001 thirty-one people have been murdered by rightwing Hatriot groups in the US. Jihadists have murdered 21. With their weird paranoia, preppers are obvious patrons of terrorism and can expect to be investigated. Remember Timothy McVeigh?

  • Thomas Parker

    That is correct.

  • Thomas Parker

    Hey, it’s a living.

  • Thomas Parker

    Indigenous terrorist 247/335=.74
    International terrorist 88/335=.26

    I don’t think Hatriots are international. They are our own homegrown baddies.

    Oh, I agree that law enforcement officers seem to be using excessive force. I don’t think going black panther on them is acceptable.

  • Ken, Megapolis

    Winters sounds a cool guy. Let me friend him on Facebook LOL.
    But jokes aside, the best way to get a clue to the patterns of behaviour of a man is to observe his FB timeline. I’m serious because no end of criminals have been caught by a policeman waiting patiently in a target’s fave hangout LOL.
    Good luck Martin. You’ll need it old boy