UPDATE 2/22/23 — The name of the man who was arrested in connection to an explosive found in a vehicle has been released.

Rodney Dale Smith, 37, of Pomona, was arrested and charged with a felony count of unlawful possession, transport, manufacture, repair or sale of an illegal weapon.

Court documents add more to the story of what happened during the arrest.

According to a police report, a Howell County Sheriff’s Office deputy made contact with Smith after responding to a call about a man slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle on County Road 5130. He was arrested for driving with a suspended license.

The deputy asked him if there was anything in the vehicle that would get him in trouble and Smith said that there was a PVC pipe between the seats. The deputy asked who he would get in trouble over a piece of PVC pipe. Smith said that he had taken the pipe from another man because the man “didn’t need to have it.”

The deputy thought the pipe in question was a drug pipe, but after searching the vehicle, he discovered a piece of half-inch PVC pipe 6 inches long with caps and what looked to be a fuse protruding from one end. The deputy identified it as a pipe bomb-style explosive device.

At noon, the Missouri State Highway Bomb Squad arrived at the scene to remove the device safely.

Smith told deputies that he had taken the bomb because he was going to take it home, cut it open and use the powder to reload ammo. Smith is a convicted felon who is prohibited from owning firearms.

Smith has a bond review hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on Feb. 24 in West Plains.

Original article, published Feb. 19:

UPDATE 2:45 P.M. — The Missouri State Highway Patrol bomb squad confirmed that the suspicious device was an active explosive device.

According to an HCSO spokesperson, the homemade explosive device was removed from the vehicle and safely disposed of.

Deputies are still investigating the incident. The suspect was taken to the Howell County Adult Detention Center and will be named if charges are filed.

HOWELL COUNTY, Mo. — The Howell County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a potential explosive device they found on County Road 5130.

According to a press release from the HCSO, they received a call at 7:09 a.m. today, Feb. 19, about a vehicle stopped in the middle of the county road with a man slumped over the steering wheel. Deputies responded and arrested the man for driving with a suspended license.

While they were searching the vehicle, deputies found “what is believed to be a home-made explosive device” inside, according to the release. The Missouri State Highway Bomb Patrol in Jefferson City was called.

As of the time of this writing, deputies were waiting for the arrival of the bomb squad. This article will be updated as more information is released. People are asked to stay away from the area.