Explosives found at Oldsmar man’s home after arrest at rally

The rally was held Thursday night outside the Pinellas County Jail.

Authorities said they found homemade explosives, including hand-style grenades and a pipe explosive, along with nails and duct tape while searching the home of a Florida man arrested after he was spotted running away from a Jan. 6 anniversary rally.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said Garrett Smith, 22, was near a political assembly supporting a jailed Oath Keeper who is charged with participating in the Capitol riot last year. When they searched his backpack, they found a pipe-style explosive device and a checklist detailing items to bring including armor, helmet, shaded goggles, a gas mask, duct tape and flammable rags.

Deputies said 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.

But the sheriff stressed it was too early to say whether Smith was affiliated with any group. Deputies also obtained a search warrant for Smith’s house, where the sheriff said they found another pipe explosive, along with hand grenade-style explosives, nails and duct tape.

Smith did not detonate or place the explosive device he made at Thursday night’s rally held in the courthouse parking lot. Gualtieri said Smith has not been cooperative and doesn’t know why he abandoned his plan or what his political beliefs are.

The sheriff’s office is also working with the FBI on the case.

There were undercover detectives at the rally and a large law-enforcement presence at an unrelated incident nearby.

“Smith is what we call a sleeper, and these are the most concerning individuals because there are no opportunities to intervene and thwart their criminal activity before they actually act,” Gualtieri told the Tampa Bay Times.

Smith was arrested on charges of making and possessing a destructive device and loitering. He remains in jail on a bond of $300,000. It’s unclear if he had retained an attorney who could comment on the charges.


Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • PeterH

    January 8, 2022 at 11:48 am

    “Dressed all in black” ….. apparently trying to “look like” ANTIFA in order to transfer responsibility for the attempted crime to some other group. It’s not like these right wing groups haven’t done this before.

    Lock him up! Put him on a permanent ‘no fly’ list and ban him from owning weapons of any kind for life.

    • Karen Porter

      January 9, 2022 at 4:18 pm

      I totally agree with your assessment. I can also offer that the devices were perhaps given to him by someone at the rally. Someone who supported the jailed insurrectionist. Perhaps this guy can be the individual who planted explosive devices near the Capitol, DNC building.

    • isagb

      January 10, 2022 at 5:35 pm

      False. In fact, the opposite has been shown to be true time and time again. That is, leftists posing as being a part of a right-wing gathering to cause trouble.

      This guy though.. he is a lefty that was egged on by mainstream national media to try and carry out an act against innocent people.

      • PeterH

        January 10, 2022 at 6:09 pm

        Your statement is 100% hypothetical….. there is absolutely no proof of Garrett James Smith’s politics.

        To date ….. there has NEVER been a prior arrest of any “leftest” with 8000 rounds of ammunition.

        So you’re welcome to your magical thinking until the FBI offers a full assessment of this character.

  • Impeach Biden

    January 8, 2022 at 11:59 am

    One of the Democrat Antifa bombers deployed from Portland, OR. Of course he won’t be prosecuted.

    • Karen L Porter

      January 9, 2022 at 4:22 pm

      Or, perhaps he is a member of PROUD Boys, or, another domestic terrorist group. In Oregon to CONFRONT ANTIFA!! ANTI, ( AGAISNT), FA, ( FACISM)! Impeach Biden, laughable! For what? Winning an election?

      • jh

        January 9, 2022 at 7:24 pm

        I hear you look good wearing your foil Tin Hat
        Have you found your brain yet?

        • Karen L Porter

          January 9, 2022 at 7:32 pm

          Your comment says it all. Exactly what was expected. Thankfully the MAJORITY are educated and absolutely get it. Exactly why Trump lost.

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Comments are closed.


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