U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida
(813) 274-6000
October 31, 2014

Four Connected to River Otter Preppers Sentenced

TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge Richard A. Lazzara today sentenced four individuals with connections to the “River Otter Preppers” organization. They each pleaded guilty on August 14, 2014.

James Bruce Beebe (57, Valrico) was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The court also ordered Beebe to forfeit the firearm involved in the offense. Desiree Nikkole Beebe (23, Lithia) was sentenced to three years’ probation for making a false written statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer during the purchase of a firearm—the same .22 caliber rifle that James Beebe later possessed.

Jason Michael Swain (33, Wauchula) was sentenced to three years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm (Bushmaster .223 caliber AR-15 type semi-automatic rifle). The court also ordered Swain to forfeit the firearm involved in the offense.

Nicholas Ryan Hall (23, Valrico) was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for making a false written statement to a federally licensed firearms dealer during his purchase of a firearm (M+M 7.62x39 mm AK-47 semi-automatic rifle), which he was buying on behalf of an individual he believed to be a convicted felon.

According to testimony and court documents, the four individuals were arrested on June 16, 2014, as the result of an investigation involving Martin Winters and his “River Otter Preppers” organization. The investigation related to the manufacturing and possession of destructive devices. Winters pleaded guilty on August 28, 2014, to making destructive devices and possessing unregistered destructive devices. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 4, 2014.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald L. Hansen.

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