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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Press Release
September 8, 2010
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Sex Offender with Explosives, Detonators Discovered by Alert Panama City Probation Officers

When probation officers at Panama City West P&P Office noticed one of their probationer’s names on a list requesting a weapon’s permit, they searched his home the following day (Friday, September 3, 2010) and found these items:

  • Explosives and detonators;
  • Over 1,000 rounds ammo for long rifles, 12 gauge shotgun and 9 mm handgun and tracer rounds;
  • Hand grenades;
  • Hundreds of different pills in unmarked bottles; and
  • Manuals about subjects such as converting weapons into full automatic; how to make suppressors; and how to make booby traps.

Offenders on community supervision, like probation, are not allowed to possess weapons while they are on supervision. The officers involved in the warrantless search of offender John Barta’s home are: Panama City West Probation and Parole Supervising Officer CPSO Charles Smith, with assistance from Panama City West P&P’s CPSO Tim Quinn, Supervisor Mike Renaldo and Mark Chambers, and Panama City West P&P’s CPO Ken Thaxton.  

Barta was supervision until 2003 for Lewd and Lascivious Assault on a Child under the age of 16.  He was placed on one year community control supervision on August 17, 2010 for failing to register as a Sex Offender. 

The Bay Co. Sheriff’s Office was called after the explosives were found and a warrant was signed by the Court to help in the search.  The offender was arrested for violation of probation, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a destructive device.  He is currently in the Bay County Jail with a hold without bond.