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Buckhannon man arrested for allegedly altering Vehicle Identification Number

BUCKHANNON – An Upshur County man was arrested Thursday on a felony warrant for allegedly altering a Vehicle Identification Number.

William Nolan, 58, of Buckhannon, was arrested for no VIN and altering VIN, both felonies, on Feb. 8, after officers were called to the scene of a domestic dispute in which he was involved.  

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Cpl. P.J. Robinette with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Feb. 8 at approximately 11:15 p.m., Robinette was assisting WVSP Cpl. F. J. Turanksy on a domestic disturbance call as dispatched through Upshur County Communications Center. The dispute was reportedly occurring on Basketweave Lane.

While en route, Upshur Comm Center telecommunicators stated the male party involved in the domestic altercation, later identified as Nolan, had two active warrants through Upshur County Magistrate Court. During the course of the investigation, Robinette made contact with Nolan and placed him under arrest on the above-mentioned warrants.

Those warrants stemmed from an incident that allegedly occurred Jan. 27, 2024, when, according to a separate complaint filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Tyler Gordon, Gordon and other law enforcement officers responded to a 911 call regarding a green Toyota pickup truck that was apparently disabled in the roadway on Brushy Fork Road.

Upon arrival, deputies found the owner of the truck, Nolan, sitting in the passenger seat. According to the report, Nolan told officers the vehicle had no VIN and officers were unable to locate the VIN where it should have been placed.

After approximately 30 minutes of deputies searching for the VIN, Nolan offered to help “find the VIN,” the report says. Gordon subsequently followed Nolan back to the vehicle, where he allegedly attempted to make it look like he was trying to find a VIN under the hood and then in the dashboard area.

“Nolan then allegedly reached behind the back seat and removed the VIN plate that had been previously attached to the dash, then the driver’s side door frame,” the police report states. “Nolan allegedly purposely altered the VIN to attempt to conceal the true identity of the vehicle [to] continue to operate the above uninsured, unregistered, unsafe motor vehicle on the roadways of this state.

Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $5,000 cash or surety.

The potential penalty for a conviction of no VIN is confinement in a state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years and a fine of not more than $500, or in the discretion, of the court, confinement in jail for not more than one year and a fine of up to $500.

Additionally, the possible penalty for a conviction of altering a VIN is imprisonment in a state penitentiary for not less than one nor more than 10 years and a fine of $500, or in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for not more than one year and a fine of up to $500.

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