Citrus Co. man arrested after bomb squad found 3 devices at his home

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Citrus County man faces a charge of fabricating a destructive device – in this case, an egg-shaped device filled with black powder and wrapped in electrical tape, MPs say .

According to Citrus County MPs, William Skaggs, 53, of Floral City, made three devices that the Sheriff’s Office clearance team found at his home.

Law enforcement officials said they visited Skaggs’ home on December 20 “about a bomb threat”. Skaggs was arrested a day later on December 21.

An affidavit from the sheriff’s office said Skaggs showed up at a house in Okeechobee Court to ask for black powder. The witness gave him the powder and, according to the affidavit, Skaggs then put it in an egg-shaped container, plastic tube or medicine vial and wrapped it in “two feet of electric wire. And black electrical tape. The witness said the device was about seven inches in diameter.

The witness told the sheriff’s office that Skaggs “likes to put metal or nails between the electrical tape and the pipe,” but said she was unsure if there were “foreign objects” wrapped inside.

According to the affidavit, Skaggs “then began to talk about sticking the device inside the gas cap” of one man’s truck and expressed a desire to “blow up” another man’s house.

The witness told MPs that she convinced Skaggs to remove the device from the truck’s gas cap. She then returned home, believing the incident was over. However, she called the MPs about 15 to 20 minutes later when she heard more arguments.

According to the affidavit, the witness handed MPs the box of black powder that Skaggs used to make his device.

MPs who questioned Skaggs said he told them witnesses were lying and “trying to get him to jail.”

Investigators said they searched the common areas of the house with the consent of Skaggs’ parents and found nothing. The affidavit says MPs then obtained a warrant to specifically search Skaggs’ bedroom and found several items. According to the affidavit, “one was a water spray bottle with an electric fan attached, one explosive device and one non-explosive device were all recovered from the defendant’s room.”

Skaggs was then taken to the Citrus County Detention Center for booking and processing. In a second interview at the facility, MPs said Skaggs told them he “builds” or “makes his own” firecrackers “(devices).” He told MPs the most recent was done on December 20, about five hours before the law. law enforcement officers arrived at his home, according to the affidavit.

Skaggs told MPs the device in his bedroom was “active and ready to go” and that the last device he detonated was a few months ago in an empty field in front of his house, according to the affidavit.

Skaggs was charged with one count of manufacturing, possessing or throwing destructive devices with intent to cause bodily harm or damage to property. His bond was set at $ 5,000. Skaggs has been made a public defender and determined to be needy.


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