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Police say man made fake bomb threats

November 12, 2005|By CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - A lieutenant with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department using radar to check for speeders Friday afternoon found himself suddenly responding to a different type of call: A man claiming he had explosives was holding an employee of an asphalt plant inside a building.

Lt. D.S. Richmond went to the ESSROC asphalt plant on Kelly Island Road at around 1:30 p.m., where the man had told someone he had C4, an explosive material, and was holding an employee hostage, according to police.

Richmond said James Willis Key, 45, who has no fixed address, demanded to speak to an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or a military police officer.

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Richmond walked inside and spoke to Key. Key had no explosive material with him and a statement he was alleged to have made that explosives had been planted at four other locations in the county also was determined to be false, Richmond said.

Several other deputies with the sheriff's department responded, and a West Virginia State Police bomb technician was notified. Members of the Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department helped to check for explosives.

Kelly Island Road was shut down for a few minutes while the search was being done, Richmond said.

Key was charged Friday night with filing a false bomb report and threat of terrorist activity, both of which are felonies.

Conviction on each charge carries a sentence of one to three years in prison.

Key was being held on a $50,000 cash-only bail.

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