Four people with ties to a doomsday survivalist group in Florida were sentenced by a federal judge on Friday on various gun-related charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The charges stemmed from a federal investigation into Martin Winters and the “River Otter Preppers,” a group of survivalists that prepare for large-scale events — like natural disasters or the collapse of the financial system — that make resources scarce.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the United States Marshals Service and led to Winters’ arrest, which was executed on the grounds that the group was manufacturing “destructive devices.” Winters pled guilty to the charges on Aug. 28 and is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 4.
In a 24-page search warrant affidavit, authorities described the devices as metal tubes used to fire 12-gauge shotgun shells and were meant to be used as booby traps, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Williams told an undercover FBI agent in October 2013 that he had several booby traps set for federal agents who he thought would try to come for him during the biblical end of times. Williams also told the agent that he had hidden several rifles in barrels throughout his neighborhood in preparation for the end-of-the-world event.
James Bruce Beebe, 57, of Valrico, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for being a felon and possessing a gun — a .22-caliber rifle. Desiree Nikkole Beebe, 23, of Lithia, received three years of probation for making a false statement in the process of purchasing that rifle from a federally licensed firearms dealer.
The judge also sentenced Jason Michael Swain, 33, of Wauchula, to three years in prison for being a felon in possession of a Bushmaster .223-caliber AR-15.
Valrico resident Nicholas Ryan Hall, 23, received one year in federal prison for making a false written statement while buying a M+M 7.62×39 mm AK-47 rifle from a FFL, which he attempted to buy for who he thought was a convicted felon.