No bond for Valrico 'doomsday prepper'

Tampa, Florida -- The so-called "doomsday prepper" that the FBI had been searching for for two days turned himself in earlier Wednesday morning.

By late afternoon, 55-year-old Marty Winters was in front of a federal judge and was ordered held without bond.

Marty Winters is a survivalist and agents thought there was a chance he might be armed and prepared to hide out for the long haul. Instead, federal agents didn't have to look far to find him. At 10 a.m., he was standing in the lobby of the FBI headquarters building in Tampa.

"We were hoping for a peaceful resolution and today we got that," said FBI Spokesman Dave Couvertier.

Investigators say Winters surrendered peacefully. He made no statements but was cordial, and they returned the goodwill by offering him Gatorade, cheeseburgers, a pair of dry socks and shoes.

"And again, we're extremely grateful that no one -- no one at all -- got hurt," said Couvertier.

Winters fled on foot Monday morning when agents tried to serve the survivalist doomsday prepper with a warrant charging him with illegally obtaining weapons, building and distributing small explosive devices.

During his arraignment, Winters entered the courtroom shackled at the hands and feet. He smiled at friends and relatives who had entered the federal courthouse and declined to comment. His lawyer tried to convince Judge Thomas Wilson that Winters was not a flight risk and should be released on bond for having turned himself in.

But the judge disagreed.

"I don't consider himself turning himself in a wash with flight," said Wilson. "There is clear and convincing evidence that he's a danger to the community. This is not just talk, there were destructive devices built and sold."

SEE ALSO:YouTube videos of Winters' group River Otter Preppers

Winters' next court date is July 17 for a status update before Judge Virginia Covington and his next court hearing is Aug. 4.

Outside the courtroom, Winters' daughters were sobbing, saying that their father is a "good man." They declined, however, to comment about the court's decision to detain Winters.

His lawyer said Winters had contacted his daughters hours earlier to arrange his surrender.

"He probably had time to reflect on it and decided to do like the FBI agent said the day before, 'if you want to show you're a good man like his neighbors said turn himself in,' and that's exactly what he did," said Winters' attorney Ellis Faught.

Winters' friends and neighbors say they're planning an 8 p.m. prayer vigil on his behalf Wednesday night near the family's home in Valrico.

His next court appearance is set for July 17.


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