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Convoy of moving vans stopped briefly by police

by Darlene J. Taylor

STAFF WRITER

CLARKSBURG -- A call to 911 that a possible terrorist depicted on "America's Most Wanted" was driving through Harrison County turned out to be a false alarm.

A fleet of nine moving vans and one passenger van was initially stopped by Sheriff's Department Sgt. S.R. Johnson and Lt. J.O. Singleton. The stop was on U.S. 50 East between the Wilsonburg and Sun Valley exits.

"It was a unique tip given the current state of affairs. We must do everything we can to protect the homeland," said Chief Deputy Albert Marano.

The empty trucks, which set out from the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area, were being driven to Ohio for a moving company.

About 10 officers from the Sheriff's Department and West Virginia State Police responded without incident.

"All manifests, invoices and paper work seem to be in order," Marano said. "There will probably be a couple citations for suspended licenses."

One of the drivers indicated they usually travel in groups of four or five. This was the largest convoy in which they had driven.

The drivers, who waited along the highway more than one hour, said they realized the officers were just doing their job.

The Joint Terrorism Task Force was notified of the incident, Marano said.

Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at dtaylor@exponent-telegram.com