Roommate Of Alleged Tampa Palms Shooter Charged With Federal Explosives Violations
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida
Tampa, FL – Acting United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow announces that Brandon Russell (21, Tampa) has been charged by criminal complaint with possession of an unregistered destructive device and unlawful storage of explosive material, in violation of federal law. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 11 years in federal prison.
According to the criminal complaint, the Tampa Police Department responded on May 19, 2017, to a double homicide at an apartment in the Tampa Palms area, where Russell, Devon Arthurs, and the deceased men had been living together. The alleged shooter, Arthurs, stated that he, Russell, and the two victims shared common neo-Nazi beliefs, and that Russell participated in online neo-Nazi chat rooms where he threatened to kill people and bomb infrastructure. During a search of the apartment, law enforcement discovered a cooler in the garage containing the explosive HMTD (hexamethylene triperoxide diamine), along with various explosive precursors in close proximity. Upon questioning, Russell admitted that he had manufactured the HMTD located in the garage.
On May 21, 2017, Russell was arrested in Key Largo. He made his initial appearance before United States Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton in the Southern District of Florida. Russell was detained pending further proceedings in the Middle District of Florida.
Devon Arthurs was arrested on May 19, 2017, by officers from the Tampa Police Department. He is in custody facing state charges.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with assistance from the Tampa Police Department and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Josephine W. Thomas and Daniel A. George.
Updated May 23, 2017