DINGESS – Charges have been dropped against a Dingess man falsely accused of illegally possessing an explosive device.
A criminal complaint states that Herman Vance, the man originally accused of having an explosive device in his truck was framed by Roger Scott Johnson.
Vance was arrested on April 17 after 911 dispatchers received an anonymous call stating that Vance was plotting to plant bombs in the Mingo County Courthouse. The caller also stated that Vance was planning to plant an explosive device in a law enforcement cruiser.
At that time, officers did discover an explosive device in Vance’s vehicle. However, through further investigation by Tpr. R. L. Jennings and Sr. Tpr. D. L. Contos of the Williamson Detachment of the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) it was determined that the complaint was false and that the explosive device was planted by Johnson in Vance’s Chevy Pickup truck.
A criminal complaint states that on Tuesday, April 19 officers were able to locate Johnson in the Dingess area. At that time, Johnson fled from law enforcement.
Officers located Johnson who then resisted arrest by not giving officers his hands to cuff. Once handcuffed, Johnson was placed under arrest for fleeing on foot and a home confinement violation.
Johnson was then transported to the WVSP Williamson office where officers obtained Johnson’s recorded statement.
Johnson allegedly stated that he had planted the explosive device in Vance’s truck after Vance made threats toward him. According to the criminal complaint, Johnson admitted to planting the device in the truck in an attempt to frame Vance.
Johnson also told officers that his mother drove him to the top of Dingess Mountain where he was dropped off. Johnson then walked onto Vance’s property and planted the explosive device in the truck.
After planting the explosive device, Johnson told officers that he then stopped at the Dingess Service Center to place the phone call to 911 falsely accusing Vance of constructing the explosive device and made the allegations that Vance was planning to plant explosive devices in the Mingo County Court House and a law enforcement cruiser.
Johnson has been charged with wanton endangerment involving a destructive device, false reports concerning bombs or other explosive devices, fleeing on foot, obstructing/resisting an officer and illegal possession of an explosive device.
Johnson was arraigned before Magistrate Jim Harvey on Wednesday, April 20. He is currently being lodged in the Southwestern Regional Jail in Holden on a $100,000 bond.
Information in this article was obtained by use of criminal complaints which are public record. A criminal complaint is merely an accusation and those named should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)