Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons said inmates working along Highway 58 in the Flatwoods area of the county on Thursday found an object resembling a bomb. The inmates’ find was shown to the supervising deputy, who then contacted his supervisors.
The area was secured and a section of Highway 58 was closed.
The Virginia State Police (VSP), along with the VSP bomb squad and ATF agents, began special procedures to safely secure the device. Lee County deputies, with assistance from the Virginia Department of Transportation, detoured all Highway 58 traffic.
The VSP bomb squad confirmed that the device was in fact a pipe bomb with attached shrapnel. The VSP bomb squad robot was deployed to secure the device and was able to successfully disarm it through a controlled detonation.
Authorities say after a thorough search of the area for additional devices — with no findings — the scene was cleaned up and the road was reopened.
Authorities say numerous leads are being investigated as to the origin of the bomb.
If you have any information about the bomb, contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (276) 346-7777.