A Florida driver who was pulled over for expired license plates startled police officers after they found he had a live grenade tucked away in a rusty toolbox in the back of his pickup trunk.
'Oh shoot, is this for real?' the officer from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office can be heard saying to her partner on the bodycam footage after finding the explosive in what appeared to be an old tea container Monday.
'Oh god, I can't believe. Just back out,' the cop laughs nervously as she swings her leg over the back of the truck. 'Get out of the truck for a second. Get out of the truck, it looks like a possible grenade.'
Louis Branson, 65, was arrested after the officer found the grenade nestled inside the container, and a further search uncovered small amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
'This idiot is lucky he did not blow himself or his truck up,' Sheriff Rick Staly said.
The St. John's County explosives team removed the bomb from the vehicle and diverted traffic from the area before safely detonating it in a nearby county-owned facility.
Louis Branson, 65, was arrested and booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility on Monday after police found a live grenade and drug paraphernalia in his truck
Branson was arrested for driving under a suspended license and later charged with possession of firearm, weapon, or ammo by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana and cocaine
Branson told police his wife was getting new tags for his car today and believed he had until November 10 to get new ones. He was told to exit the vehicle and was arrested. While searching his vehicle, police found a bomb and he told them it had been in the toolbox for 'three or four years'
When the officers questioned Branson about the grenade, he admitted it was a 'collectors' item and that he found it in an 'old home.'
Branson claimed he didn't know if the grenade was live or a replica, stating he just 'found it' and that he had it for 'three or four years.'
'It just stays in the toolbox,' Branson can be heard telling the police officers.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a press release that Branson took the explosive from a veteran's home that he was cleaning.
'This guy was pulled over because his tag and license were expired, and then deputies found drugs and a grenade in his vehicle,' Sheriff Staly said.
'Carrying around an explosive device is very dangerous and illegal.'
Police found the bomb in what appears to be an old tea container
The can was located inside the back of the truck in the rusty toolbox
Branson admitted to cops his license expired in 2019 and told officers he learned 'about a week now' that his license had been suspended in Georgia.
He also told officers his wife was 'going to get the tags' today and that he was heading to Daytona to get parts for the truck on the 'back roads' to avoid traffic.
He said he thought he had until November 10 to get new tags, bodycam footage revealed.
During an inventory search of his vehicle, officers found the grenade inside a rusty can inside his truck's toolbox, as well as two glass pipes in the driver's side door and in a storage compartment with what was believed to be narcotics residue marks, and a bag of cocaine.
Flagler County Sheriff's Office called in the St. John's County Explosive Ordinance Disposal team, which x-rayed the bomb and found it to be authentic.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office contacted the St. John's County Explosive Ordinance Disposal team after finding the bomb in Branson's vehicle. The team x-rayed the device and found the bomb to be authentic. They took it to a county-own facility and safely detonated the bomb
'It was believed to be a real grenade based on the x-ray revealing its internal mechanism,' the statement said.
Branson was arrested and booked into the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility in Flagler County for driving with an expired license over six months and drug paraphernalia at the scene.
After the Sheriff's Office completed their investigation, Branson was later additionally charged with possession of firearm, weapon, or ammo by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine.
Branson, who now resides in Florida, has a criminal past in the state as well as in Georgia.
He's been previously charged with burglary, possession of Sea Oats - a type of protected grass - trespassing, rape, burglary of an occupied dwelling, armed robbery, possession of marijuana, forgery, possession of drug equipment, grand theft, battery, possession of cocaine, driving with a suspended license, and giving a false name to law enforcement.
He also has a felony for sexual battery from 1977.
Police diverted traffic to ensure safety during the detonation