- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Florida man who is a self-proclaimed member of the “United States Patriot Army” was arrested Monday after a business partner reported seeing pipe bombs in the suspect’s Tampa home.

Michael Ramos was arrested by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives who recovered the bombs, tear gas canisters and smoke bombs when they raided the house, a local Fox affiliate reported.

Authorities said Mr. Ramos is one of the founders and president of Patriot Armor Inc., a company that manufactures body armor for law enforcement officers and firefighters.

His business partner, Kenneth Ray O’Neill, contacted authorities after seeing seeing a shoe-box-sized wooden crate in Mr. Ramos‘ bedroom holding four or six pipe bombs, Fox reported.

Mr. O’Neill said he asked Mr. Ramos about the box, and Mr. Ramos confirmed that they were bombs that he made himself, using materials he bought at Home Depot and through Amazon.com.

Mr. Ramos said that he put birdshot into the bombs, saying, “It would kill the neighbors if one of the bombs went off,” Fox reported.

When asked why he had the bombs, Mr. Ramos told Mr. O’Neill, “If [expletive] hits the fan, you never know if you might need it,” according to an affidavit filed by the ATF.

Mr. Ramos told detectives that he was unhappy with the government and was a member of the “United States Patriot Army” based out of St. Petersburg, Florida.  

After being taken into custody, investigators found postings on Mr. Ramos‘ Facebook page expressing his anti-government views, including one that read: “The United Sates Constitution: we the people have the right to assemble a ARMED MILITIA to regulate government when they get out of control. They don’t want you to know that. We need to stand for our rights. Before we COMPLETELY LOOSE (sic) THEM.”

Mr. Ramos reportedly told authorities he only had the pipe bombs for protective reasons and stated he had no “intentions of harming anyone with the bombs.”

He is facing charges of illegal transfer of a firearm and making a firearm.

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