GLEN ST. MARY, Fla. – A man arrested after he was accused of making threats on social media had enough firepower to do significant damage to a school, church or community gathering, Baker County Sheriff Scotty Rhoden said.
Brandon Yancey, 44, was arrested Saturday, hours after the Baker County Sheriff's Office was made aware of the posts, which including pictures of Yancey holding guns, some of them high-powered rifles he purchased legally in the county.
The recipient of Yancey's social media messages gave screenshots of the conversation to authorities. The photos Yancey posted included himself posing with various weapons that ranged from handguns to shotguns and assault-style rifles.
Part of Yancey's post read: "Thinking about doing something. Do not know if I should. Recent events say go for it."
Yancey's friends said they became concerned about him after he recently divorced his wife and lost his job.
Deputies said Yancey was believed to be distraught over the firing and was possibly seeking retaliation. Deputies said Yancey was fired from Walmart after he was accused of
sexually harassing a co-worker.
The threat of Yancey doing harm to others was something deputies said they could not ignore.
“We interviewed some people who had worked with him, and when we went to his home, even his family members had some concerns,” Rhoden said. “I believe in this case we might have prevented something terrible from happening."
The Sheriff's Office made contact with Yancey and other family members at his home at 1:39 p.m. Saturday. Yancey confirmed to deputies that he had posted the pictures, but denied specifically threatening anyone, according to the Sheriff's Office. He also admitted to being recently fired.
Deputies said Yancey described firearms that were his in the home, which he shares with his parents.
A search warrant revealed an arsenal of handguns and high-powered assault-type rifles, along with accessories like bump stocks and extended capacity magazines.
The firearms and items found included an AK-47 assault rifle, a black skull mask, gloves and clothing.
Rhoden said he doesn't regret the decision to confiscate Yancey's weapons.
“I am a strong advocate of the 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms and protect your family. I want that to be clear,” Rhoden said. “But when you make threats like this to harm the community, the Baker County Sheriff's Office will come and see you."
Yancey was taken to the Baker County Detention Center, deputies said.
He's being held on $50,000 bond and will now undergo a mental health evaluation.
It wasn't clear if Florida's new law passed after the Parkland school shooting that creates a “risk protection order” allowing police to confiscate guns of people who pose a violent threat to themselves or others was used in this case. Gun owners whose firearms are taken away under the order can petition to get them back after 30 days.