CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A traffic stop along Locust Avenue early Monday turned up a "suspicious device," though few details have emerged from the Charlottesville Police Department (CPD).

Police say a 34-year-old Robert Jamal Pryor was pulled over on Sycamore Street around 9 a.m. Monday, September 9, for expired plates and tags. According to CPD, the officer smelled marijuana while talking to Pryor. It was during a consented search of the car when an explosives detection K-9 alerted his handler about something in the trunk.

Police closed down the surrounding area to traffic and pedestrians for several hours as a precaution. Virginia State Police and its Explosive Ordinance Squad were also called in to assist.

"At this point, it is contained. We don't believe that there is anyone in direct or immediate danger, but we're taking every precaution possible to make sure that the community is safe," said Police Chief RaShall Brackney at the scene.

Shortly after noon, the squad safely detonated the device. However, police have not identified what exactly they blew up.

"You'll send things off to the lab to have them analyzed after our forensic teams come through, as well. But regardless of what the components are, there are still sections of the state statute ... you can't even have facsimiles, or things that look like they may be explosive in nature," Brackney said.

Pryor has been charged with possession of an explosive device, possession of marijuana, expired registration, and failure to have a vehicle properly inspected.


09/09/2019 Press Release from Charlottesville Police:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (UPDATE: 4:55 p.m.): On September 9, 2019, at approximately 9 a.m., officers conducted a traffic stop in the area of Locust Avenue and Sycamore Street.
 
During a consent search of the vehicle, CPD’s explosives detection K-9 alerted his handler to a suspicious device.
 
Bomb technicians with the Virginia State Police responded to the scene to examine and disrupt the device. CPD’s K-9 examined the vehicle one final time and did not alert his handler to any further threat.
 
The device was sent to the state lab in Richmond for further examination and analysis. 
 
Robert Jamal Pryor, a 34-year-old resident of Charlottesville, was charged with possession of an explosive device, possession of marijuana, expired registration, and failure to have a vehicle properly inspected.
 
Locust Avenue was reopened to traffic around 12:45 p.m.. A section of Sycamore Street between Locust Avenue and Grove Avenue remains closed pending an ongoing investigation by CPD officers.
  
There is no threat to public safety at this time.