Venice couple had guns, explosives in reach of child

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VENICE, Fla. (AP) – Sheriff’s deputies say a Florida couple stored weapons and drugs within reach of a 5-year-old child living in their home.

A Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office news release says the stash of weapons was discovered Friday when deputies went to the home in Venice to assist the Florida Department of Children and Families with a welfare check.

Officials say 23-year-old Steve Pace and 24-year-old Katie Smith are charged with aggravated child abuse. In addition, Pace is charged with possession of explosive devices.

Deputies found eight rifles, five handguns, several boxes of ammunition and synthetic drugs. The news release says investigators found two pipe bombs and two hand grenades in the master bedroom.

The release says the home was covered in dirt. Jail records don’t indicate whether they’ve hired lawyers.

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