Florida man arrested after explosives, guns, school maps and more were found in his home

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Pinellas County (Fla.) deputies arrested a Dunedin man for possessing destruction devices in his home during a child pornography raid.

Randall Drake, 24, was arrested following execution of a search warrant of the home where he lives with his parents. In January of 2017, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office began a child pornography investigation in which Drake was a suspect. During the course of the investigation, deputies established probable cause that he had child pornography, that he was distributing child pornography and that he had child pornography in his home.

On Wednesday night, sheriff's detectives served a search warrant related to the child pornography investigation. While searching the home, they found several firearms, explosives and incendiary devices found in a closet inside Drake's bedroom.

Members of the bomb squad responded to the scene and took custody of the explosive devices. 

Numerous weapons were found in the home including, but not limited to:

  • An AK-47 with a magazine 60 round clip
  • A 308 caliber rifle
  • A 50 caliber pistol
  • A 12 gauge shotgun
  • Numerous other handguns
  • Around 15 knives
  • A baseball bat with protruding nails in it 
  • A crossbow
  • Brass knuckles
  • A container of gunpowder
  • Over 2,300 rounds of ammunition
  • Three incendiary devices
  • A homemade silencer
  • Tactical Vests

Drake kept maps and aerial overviews of multiple Hillsborough schools including Essrig Elementary and Ben Hill Middle School, as well as Hillsborough County's Water Treatment Plant.

Detectives also found several handwritten journals regarding improvised munitions handbooks, military instruction manuals, computers and what is a “really troubling handwritten letter,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stated during a press conference on Thursday.

This was the handwritten letter found at the scene:

“Randall appears to be as we would refer to as a sleeper,” Sheriff Gualtieri said during the press conference. “We have no criminal intelligence information on him, he has no criminal history, no background.”

“It’s reminiscent about what we saw recently in Las Vegas. That guy’s a sleeper, nobody knew anything about that guy,” the Sheriff later added.

Records show no evidence of him being a student in Pinellas County or Hillsborough County. His parents say that he was homeschooled since the third grade.

“The parents said they knew he had some guns but they had no idea about all this.”

Drake worked at Florida Firearms Academy until 2015. He was also a former Tampa Police explorer but is no longer affiliated with the Tampa Police Department, according to PCSO.

Sheriff Gualtieri said the man was likely a lone wolf.

“With what he was planning to do with those, it could be very serious.”

Drake was arrested and charged with two counts of unlawfully making, possessing or attempting to make a destructive device. He was placed under a $20,000 bond but bonded out on Thursday night. Prior to bonding out of jail, Sheriff Gualtieri said that he believes Drake is too dangerous to be released. Following the release, Drake was taken into immediate custody under the Baker Act for a mental health evaluation.

Print this article Back to Top