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Venice child found amid pipe bombs, grenades

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Posted at 11:03 AM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 13:16:34-05

A Venice child was found amid drugs, rifles, pipe bombs and grenades during a welfare check Friday, Sarasota County deputies say.

The 5-year-old was removed from the home by DCF.

Steven Pace, 23, and Katie Smith, 24, both of 425 N. Jackson Road in Venice, were arrested and are facing charges.  Smith is charged with child neglect.  Pace is charged with child neglect and four counts of possession of a destructive device.

According to deputies, they went to the home off Jackson Road to assist DCF with a welfare check.

Once inside, deputies say they saw eight rifles, five handguns, several boxes of ammunition, nearly 300 grams of suspected synthetic cannabinoid, two pipe bombs and two hand grenades.

The firearms, drugs, bombs and grenades were all within reach of the child, deputies noted.

Deputies say the home was also covered in dirt and trash and described the conditions as deplorable.

Pace is being held on $180,000 bond.