PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– On Thursday, January 6, 2022 at approximately 7:30 p.m., deputies arrested 22-year-old Garrett Smith for three counts of Make/Possess/Discharge Destructive Device and Loitering and Prowling.
According to detectives on January 6, 2022 at 5:00 p.m., a protest was taking place in front of the Pinellas County Justice Center located at 14250 49th Street North in Clearwater in reference to the incarceration of 47-year-old Jeremy Brown. Brown is currently being held in the Pinellas County Jail on federal charges stemming from the January 6, 2021 incident at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. A federal judge ordered Brown held without bond pending trial. Brown is housed at the Pinellas County Jail under a US Marshal Warrant.READ MORE: 50 migrants found dead in back of tractor trailer in San Antonio
At approximately 7:24 p.m., deputies in the area observed a male, later identified as Smith, dressed in all black clothing, a face covering, and carrying a black backpack, running away from the direction of the protest. Deputies caught Smith at 144th Avenue North, west of 46th Street North in Clearwater.
Deputies conducted an investigation and arrested Smith on a charge of Loitering and Prowling. After the arrest, deputies searched the backpack, where an explosive device was located, along with additional items. Deputies searched the area and no additional explosive devices were located. During the course of the investigation, detectives obtained a search warrant for Smith’s residence, where they located more explosive devices.READ MORE: Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ Community Fears Future SCOTUS Decisions Following Roe v. Wade Reversal
Sheriff Gualtieri described Smith as a “sleeper” stating, “Those are the ones that are most concerning and the hardest to figure out.”
Detectives say Smith has no criminal history. Smith resides at home with his mother and father in Oldsmar.
Detectives have yet to determine why Smith possessed the explosive devices or what he intended to do with them.MORE NEWS: Some US Companies Will Cover Travel Costs For Employees Who Need An Abortion
Sheriff Gualtieri held a press conference on January 7, 2022, to discuss the circumstances surrounding Smith’s arrest.