Investigations

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Owner of Detector Dogs Against Drugs & Explosives Pleads Guilty to Illegally Shipping Explosives via Air

Russell L. Ebersole, the owner of Detector Dogs Against Drugs and Explosives of Stephenson, VA, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg, VA, to charges of instructing an employee to ship undeclared explosives transported by air and to witness tampering. Ebersole’s guilty plea resulted from a joint OIG and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) investigation revealing that he told an employee to ship by air a 1.4-pound box of explosives marked as kitchen supplies. The undeclared shipment violated DOT regulations and posed a serious risk to public safety. Ebersole also shipped a second box of undeclared explosives from Hagerstown, MD, to Seattle, WA, via UPS ground services. To corroborate lies he told ATF special agents, Ebersole told the individual who received the ground shipment to destroy the explosives and lie to Federal investigators. No sentencing date has been set.



In June in an unrelated case, a U.S. District Court jury in Alexandria, VA, convicted Ebersole of defrauding the Government by contracting to provide explosives detection services at Federal agencies using dogs when the dogs were actually unable to distinguish explosives.