FBI continues search for 'doomsday prepper' - FOX 13 News

FBI continues search for 'doomsday prepper'

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LITHIA (FOX 13) - The FBI is hoping you can help them track down a Lithia man, believed to be a 'doomsday prepper,' who fled from agents Monday morning.

According to the agency, Martin Howard Winters sped away from FBI agents when they approached him around 8:40 Monday morning. They believe he then abandoned his car and fled on foot.

Nearby Durant High School was on lockdown as a precaution while law enforcement searched for him, but he was never found.

Neighbors told us Monday that Winters is not your average neighbor.

"Marty is a good guy. He has views that are different from other people," said Vincent Bernard, who rents from Winters.

He's a doomsday prepper, according to the FBI, and he leads the "River Otter Preppers."

Officials say they're preparing for an end-of-days event.

"He loves God. I know that he reads a lot of Book of Revelations," said Bernard.

According to federal search warrants,Winters and several followers have been stockpiling weapons, food, and arms around his property and the beyond.

The FBI also says Winters was building illegal booby-trap devices, including some that could shoot shotgun shells, all in an effort to make a last stand and even repel the government.

Some of these folks are felons who aren't even allowed to have guns, the feds say.

"Talking about ideas and philosophy, that's OK; not a problem. But when people break the law to carry out those philosophies, that's when we step in," said Dave Couvertier with the FBI.

Winters allegedly told the FBI he's spent $200,000 on his preps. Officials say he even told an undercover agent, if the government gives him enough time "it'll be worse than Waco" and "kill them all."

Agents tried arresting Winters early Monday near Dover Road, but they say he took off on them.

The FBI considers him armed and dangerous, but folks who rent from him feel otherwise.

"He's a good guy. He puts out produce every week for the people in need," said Casey Kendall, whose husband is one of several members facing charges. "He's tremendously helped us out."


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