Ohio troopers nab trucker after CB threat

| 12/30/2002

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers stopped a trucker Dec. 22 who was wanted in connection with threats made against the White House via his CB radio. Secret Service agents said Norayr Avetisyan, 27, of Glendale, CA, charged in the Southern District Federal Court in Indiana and is awaiting his initial court appearance at U.S. Federal District Court in Montgomery County.

Ohio troopers made the stop, but the threat was actually made in Indiana. Ohio state police said in a press release that Avetisyan was traveling eastbound on Interstate 70 when he made the threats during a conversation on his CB radio near Indianapolis. Authorities from the Indiana State Police were contacted by a caller using cellular 9-1-1 who provided information that alleged Avetisyan was planning to detonate explosives at the White House that were part of the freight shipment he was transporting.

Sgt. Robin Schmutz, Ohio State Highway Patrol Public Affairs Unit, told Land Line it was not known if the Indiana caller who contacted authorities with this information was a trucker.

"It was someone who heard the threat over the CB," said Sgt. Schmutz, "so it could have very well been another trucker."

All area law enforcement agencies were notified and troopers opened the eastbound scales in Preble County in an attempt to stop Avetisyan. At 1:15 p.m., troopers stopped him at the scales.

"We are obligated to take reports like this seriously and follow through, no matter what," said Schmutz. "In Ohio, we take homeland security very seriously."

Authorities contacted U.S. Secret Service agents and FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force members that later reported to the scene. Avetisyan was incarcerated in the Montgomery County Jail.

-- By Sandi Soendker, managing editor