Sheriff: Military-grade explosives found in former deputy's Bartow home

- A former law enforcement officer now living in Polk County has been arrested after investigators say they found a cache of firearms and explosives in his home.

Joel Ryals was training police dogs in Mississippi when he was arrested.

He has been a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy, a police officer in Kentucky, and a member of the National Guard in Wyoming and Florida.

Detectives say Ryal’s wife tipped them off to his stash of military-grade C4 explosives.

“It is always important when you are violating the law to keep your wife or girlfriend happy,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd told FOX 13. “Always.”

When local, state, and federal investigators went into the Ryals' home on State Road 60 earlier this week, they found dozens of firearms, including assault rifles, booby trap flares, and explosives.

“But we don’t see anything in the investigation that he is radicalized or is a danger,” Judd pointed out.

Judd says Ryals is being charged with numerous felonies for possessing items stolen from the military and for having unlicensed guns.

He will be extradited from Alabama to Florida.

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Sheriff: Military-grade explosives found in former deputy's Bartow home
  • Two families uninjured in Sarasota apartment fire
  • Pasco County suspect connected to 48 fraud cases arrested
  • Parents located after Sarasota boy was found wandering alone
  • Sarasota police make arrests in stolen lawn equipment case
  • Fight over Hillsborough County teacher pay raises lead to impasse hearings
  • Toddler found alone in parking lot after wandering from daycare
  • Fugitive grandma appears in court, headed back to Florida
  • Marion County deputy shot at while breaking up crowd
  • FAA orders engine inspections following Southwest incident