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Pierce County ‘Doomsday Prepper’ arrested on weapons charges

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department arrested Tyler Smith, 29, Wednesday morning in Bonney Lake. The survivalist and convicted felon was arrested for using guns on the TV show "Doomsday Preppers." (National Geographic TV)

A Pierce County survivalist featured on the reality TV show “Doomsday Preppers” has been arrested for illegally possessing weapons officials say he planned to use to rob his neighbors.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department arrested Tyler Smith Wednesday morning at a home in Bonney Lake. Smith is a convicted felon prohibited from possessing firearms, but was seen loading and firing two rifles on his Buckley property in the episode filmed March 2013. It aired November 2013.

“His stated plan was not to defend himself but to use weapons he illegally possessed to rob his neighbors at gunpoint. Did he really think that this wouldn’t attract our attention?” said Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor.

Smith, 29, is the leader of Spartan Survival, a group of about 80-dues paying members he founded in 2005 to train survivors and prepare for doomsday, the News Tribune reported.

On the show, Smith said he planned to rob his neighbors if disaster struck.

“There were a lot of concerned neighbors after he went on TV who alerted authorities,” said Detective Ed Troyer.

Detectives lured him away from the property and his stockpile of weapons by contacting him and telling him, as a registered sex offender, he was required to check in with authorities, Troyer said.

“When he was isolated and away from everybody else and we knew he wasn’t armed, we placed him into custody and served a search warrant on his property,” Troyer said.

The Pierce County Prosecutor is expected to file charges against Smith Thursday. He was booked on two counts of second degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.

About the Author

Josh Kerns

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news. Email Josh at jkerns@kiroradio.com

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