by Scott Creighton
Here’s an interesting one.
Down here in the land of the Big PX (Tampa, Fl. Home of the Global War OF Terror) a 24-year-old man, Michael Vincent Ramos, was arrested Monday for having a bunch of PVC pipe bombs in his little crappy duplex apartment at 4504 Lincoln Ave. Also found during the arrest was an AK-47 and a .45-cal handgun with “large amounts” of ammunition.
Ramos is a member of something called the United States Patriot Army, some kind of militia group in St. Petersburg according to the story.
He is supposed to be “unhappy with the government,”
Seems like a cut and dry case doesn’t it? Some gun-toting “patriot” type gets radicalized by the interwebs in his little hovel of a home and sets out to right all the wrongs of society with some bombs and guns.
Of course that’s all well and good if he’s talking about Syria, Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. But we can’t have that sort of regime change mentality living down the street from us. Even if we did make him.
Anti-government sentiment is a bad thing. It drives people like Michael to sit at home and make pipe bombs out of Home Depot supplies.
Or does it?
Turns out there is a little more detail to the history of this case.
Michael works for the man who turned him in at the body armor manufacturing company.
That man was at Michael’s house this past weekend and communicated with him several times before tipping off the cops. He saw the pipe bombs in Michael’s crappy little apartment back on Jan. 16th of this year, two weeks ago. Says he just saw them sitting in a box in Michael’s room. Michael has been working with the man’s company at his shop since then while the man knew Michael had a bunch of pipe bombs sitting in a box in his house.
Michael’s landlord lives in the other half of the duplex home. She claims she “inspects” his apartment weekly and has obviously never seen pipe bombs sitting in a box in his room.
What else is interesting? That man was arrested in 2002…. wait for it… for building pipe bombs.
Yeah. That’s the story.
Kenneth O’Neill II, a founder of Patriot Armor Inc., Ramos’ employer, first tipped off authorities Saturday. According to the complaint, he went to Ramos’ home on Jan. 16 and saw the PVC-pipe bombs in a small crate in his co-worker’s bedroom. O’Neill, convicted in 2002 for having pipe bombs, knew instantly what they were.
Ramos told O’Neill about their components, such as black powder and “bird shot” that would “kill the neighbors if one of the bombs went off,” the complaint says.
O’Neill and his brother, also an employee with Patriot Arms, went back the next day. They told Ramos the bombs were dangerous and mentioned contacting law enforcement….
… Ramos’ landlord, Marlin Martin, 51, said she was shocked to hear about the bombs. She lives in the other side of the duplex and said Ramos had never given her trouble in the five or so months he’d been living there.
Martin inspected the apartment each week, she said, and when she went inside last week, she didn’t notice anything amiss.
“I never seen nothing,” she said. “Never any problems.” TampaBay.com
Over at the website of Patriot Armor, Inc. they claim they are a disabled veteran owned business. Ryan P. O’Neill is listed here as the business owner. The date of corporation is listed as 3/25/2015. It’s not even a year old. Seems like Kenneth and Ryan went into business together. Ryan served in the Marine Corps in Afghanistan. I’m not sure about Kenneth.
But according to Fox 13, Kenneth says that he and Ramos set up the business and that Ramos was it’s president. That’s odd since Ryan is listed as the owner.
Fox 13 also mentioned Kennith’s arrest and felony conviction:
“O’Neill has a prior felony conviction for transfer of destructive devices, specifically pipe bombs, in 2002. Law enforcement noted in the affidavit he completed his sentence and did not receive funds or consideration for a reduction in sentence for the information he provided regarding Ramos.” Fox 13
So it took the convicted pipe bomb dealer/manufacturer two full weeks (he called authorities on Jan. 31st and the arrest was made yesterday on Feb. 1) to call the police and that whole time dangerous pipe bombs were just hanging out in the guy’s little apartment which were never seen by his landlord.
Also turns out Ramos had a girlfriend. She showed up and removed some things from the apartment and declined to speak to reporters.
I guess she didn’t see them either.
Ramos is supposed to have submitted a written confessions stating he made 8 of the things. Though the statement says he had no intention of using them. It remains to be seen if this statement is hand written or typed… signed or unsigned.
Patriot Armor Inc. already has contracts to supply their product to various law enforcement and fire fighting agencies.
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