Federal, state authorities mass near Salem, Mo., in standoff

Friday, September 7, 2001

SALEM, Mo. (AP) -- Federal authorities closed down a highway north of Salem and were involved in an "enforcement operation" at a home outside the city on Friday, officials said.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and U.S. Customs were called in to serve a federal search warrant at a home about eight miles north of Salem on Missouri 68, said ATF spokesman Larry Scott.

He said authorities had closed a three-mile stretch of the highway around the home, but would not say why.

Scott said agents were called in about 2 p.m. Thursday to serve the warrant, which was ordered out of the eastern district of Missouri.

"Number one is everyone's safety out here," Scott said. "And that is a big concern with everyone involved, and we'll try to resolve this in a peaceful conclusion."

Scott would not identify the homeowner the warrant was issued for, nor would he say if the person was in the home Friday.

"All we're saying is that we had to serve this warrant," Scott said.

The Dent County sheriff's and fire departments and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were also assisting, Scott said.

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