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Man accused of fraud now under house arrest

May 24, 2003|By GREG SIMMONS

A county man accused of providing uncertified bomb-sniffing dogs to several federal agencies following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was placed under house arrest after he allegedly visited and photographed the California home of a witness in the case, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Alexandria, Va.

Russell L. Ebersole, who lives on Garis Shop Road near Hagerstown, faces 26 federal wire fraud charges and two charges of making false claims against the government. Ebersole, 43 at the time of the indictment, is scheduled for a June jury trial on those charges in Alexandria, according to court information.

Ebersole is the owner of Stephenson, Va.-based Detector Dogs Against Drugs and Explosives Inc., which is at the heart of the federal charges.

Federal prosecutors said in the indictment that Ebersole marketed services of his company's dogs and their handlers to the U.S. State Department, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Emergency Management Disaster Field Office in New York City and the IRS Service Center in Fresno, Calif.

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In a separate federal indictment filed in April, Ebersole faces new charges. Filed in the U.S. District Court in Charlottesville, Va., the indictment said Ebersole allegedly shipped explosives via air freight, tampered with witnesses, committed wire fraud and lied to authorities.

Ebersole also faces a perjury charge in Virginia's state court system after he allegedly lied during an administrative hearing. A Virginia circuit judge rescheduled a trial after he declared a mistrial on the charge in April.

- Gregory T. Simmons

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