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Bomb squad examines package sent to judge

March 27, 1997

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

The State Fire Marshal's Bomb Squad Wednesday examined a suspicious package at Circuit Court Judge Darrow Glaser's Hagerstown home before determining it was a box of sewing supplies that had been sent to the wrong address.

"Basically, misdirected mail," said W. Faron Taylor, a spokesman for the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Glaser, who was on the bench at the time, could not be reached for comment.

Taylor said someone at Glaser's home called the Washington County Sheriff's Department, which notified the fire marshal's office. The package, which was discovered on Glaser's porch, had an address that was not Glaser's, officials said. Taylor said nobody at the house was expecting a package.

Taylor said he was not aware Glaser receiving any threats.

Attempts to contact the intended recipient were unsuccessful, officials said.

Dogs trained to sniff out explosives did not react in a way that indicated the package contained explosives, and bomb technicians X-rayed the package, officials said.

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When the package was opened, it was found to contain sewing supplies.

Washington County judges are all too familiar with suspicious packages. In December 1989, then Circuit Judge John P. Corderman was seriously injured by a blast from a mail bomb.

"It certainly lends credence to why these types of incidents are taken seriously by law enforcement officials and should be taken seriously by the public," Taylor said. "It's not just something you read on the wire. They come home."

The blast that injured Corderman sparked increased security measures, including the installation of metal detectors, at court buildings in Washington County.

While suspicious packages sent to high-profile public officials may generate more attention, Taylor said the bomb squad acted the same as it would for a "regular American household."

Last year, Taylor said the fire marshal's office investigated about 300 suspicious packages and mailings. Of those, only a small proportion turned out to be explosive devises, he said.

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