A routine traffic stop got a little crazy in Florida when deputies found a live hand grenade. Louis Branson, 65, was pulled over for having expired tags, and officers discovered his license had expired in 2019.
While searching Branson's pick-up truck, deputies found a glass pipe in the driver's side door and another in a storage compartment. In a storage bin in the bed of his vehicle, officers discovered the grenade. One of the officers took the grenade and put it on the ground far from the truck.
Branson told officers he found it while clearing out the home of a military veteran and said he wasn't sure if it was active or not. After x-raying the grenade and determining it was active, the bomb squad safely detonated it.
"Here's a prime example of how deputies never know what a traffic stop may turn into," Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. "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. Carrying around an explosive device is very dangerous and illegal. I'm proud of how deputies utilized their training to close the area to ensure everyone stayed safe and took this situation seriously."
Branson was taken into custody and charged with driving with an expired license and possession of drug paraphernalia. The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said that a further investigation resulted in additional charges of possession of firearm, weapon, or ammo by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana, and possession of cocaine.
Branson has a lengthy criminal history, including charges of burglary, trespassing, rape, burglary, armed robbery, forgery, grand theft, battery, and giving a false name to law enforcement.