‘Lucky he did not blow himself or his truck up:’ Live grenade found during traffic stop in Flagler County

Grenade was safely detonated

Louis Branson, 64 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A live grenade was found during a traffic stop on County Road 305 in Bunnell, prompting a large law enforcement presence Monday, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a news release, deputies pulled over Louis Branson, 64, because his Dodge truck had an expired tag. While questioning Branson, deputies said they learned that the man was aware he was driving on an expired license and he was taken into custody.

Flager County deputies found the live grenade during a traffic stop. (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

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While searching his vehicle, deputies said they found what appeared to be a hand grenade. Branson said he had cleaned out a veteran’s home, found the grenade and decided to keep it, though he did not know whether it was real or a prop, according to the release.

The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office’s Bomb Squad was called and CR-305 between State Road 302 and Highway 100 was closed while the device was examined. Investigators X-rayed the device and determined it was a live grenade.

The grenade was then removed and detonated at a nearby facility, records show.

Branson was arrested and faces charges of driving with an expired license for more than six months and possession of drug paraphernalia. He may face additional charges as the investigation continues, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Here’s a prime example of how deputies never know what a traffic stop may turn into,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement. “This guy was pulled over because his tag and license were expired, and then deputies found drugs and a grenade in his vehicle. This idiot is lucky he did not blow himself or his truck up.”

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet CR-305 between State Road 302 and Highway 100 is now open.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.