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Nervous Caller Tells Police Where to Find Stolen Explosives

August 10, 1996

FORT SPRING, W.Va. (AP) _ Police found a ton of explosive chemicals that had been stolen from a limestone quarry after a nervous caller told them to look on the banks of the Greenbriar River Friday.

``The caller said they didn’t realize what they had gotten themselves into,″ state police Lt. J.D. Johns said.

The 911 call said the 40 50-pound bags of ammonium nitrate fuel oil mix _ the same type believed used in the Oklahoma City bombing _ were on the bank of the river near Ronceverte, 10 miles from Fort Spring.

Most of the bags were dry and can still be used. One was torn open, but didn’t spill into the river. The suspects were still at large.

Authorities, fearing the chemicals could be used for terrorism, issued a nationwide alert when ACME Limestone in Fort Spring reported two towns missing Wednesday. The chemicals are used for blasting at the quarry.

On Friday, police said only one ton was stolen. The company reported two tons because its inventory records were too old to determine an exact amount, police said.

State Fire Marshal Walter Smittle said ACME could face misdemeanor charges if it doesn’t keep accurate records of explosives. ACME president Tony DiRico did not immediately return phone messages Friday.

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