Crime - Sacto 911

Pipe bomb found in vehicle in Butte County, driver arrested

A 36-year-old man is in Butte County Jail after sheriff's deputies responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle found an explosive device in the trunk.

Deputies were dispatched at about 8:30 p.m. Monday to a report of a suspicious vehicle parked in front of a residence in the 300 block of E. Evans Reimer Road in the Gridley area, according to a Butte County Sheriff’s Office news release.

A deputy contacted the driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, and spotted a methamphetamine smoking pipe in plain view inside the vehicle, the news release said. The deputy detained the driver, identified as Nicholas Nicholson, and searched the vehicle, locating a loaded firearm inside a backpack.

A second deputy arrived to help with the search and found what appeared to be a pipe bomb in the trunk, the news release said. An explosive-detection K9 also alerted to an odor of explosives in the trunk of the vehicle.

The Butte County Inter-agency Bomb Squad was called to the scene and determined that the suspected pipe bomb was a destructive explosive device, according to the news release. Bomb technicians subsequently rendered it safe.

Nicholson was booked into Butte County Jail on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a felon in possession of ammunition, driving with a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a concealed firearm in a vehicle, displaying false registration on a vehicle, possession of a destructive device , possession of a destructive device in public and possession of stolen property. His bail was set at $612,000.

The Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information regarding Nicholson’s involvement with destructive devices to call the sheriff’s investigations division or the watch commander at 530-538-7321 or 530-891-2711.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy