FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A South Florida man who authorities say was keeping a large cache of weapons has been charged with trying to hire someone to kill his wife and her family.
The Broward Sheriff's Office reports that Jason Simione, 39, was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of solicitation to commit murder, possession of a destructive device and child abuse. He was being held on $5 million bail.
When a SWAT team executed a search warrant as his Dania Beach home, they reported finding 68 rifles, shotguns and handguns, including a .50 caliber sniper rifle, and approximately 60,000 to 70,000 rounds of assorted ammunition inside. All the guns are legally-owned. Simione owns Bulldog Tactical Equipment in Fort Lauderdale. Detectives also reported finding the components of a pipe bomb, though they were not assembled.
The sheriff's office reports that the weapons were taken for safekeeping because of a protection order recently obtained by Simione's wife. Detectives began investigating Simione last week after his wife reported that Simione had injured a 9-month-old baby while arguing with an employee.
Witnesses told detectives Simione had offered acquaintances $150,000 to kill his wife, her mother and her brother. Witnesses also reported that Simione had been acting oddly recently, expressing distaste for U.S. government policies and the president. Witnesses said Simione had reinforced his residence to prevent breeches by law enforcement.
An email seeking comment from Simione's attorney wasn't immediately answered.
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