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Woman charged with harboring fugitive caught in Westover

Law enforcement took Brandi J. Gowers, 40, of Mount Clare, into custody earlier this week after she allegedly harbored a wanted fugitive and provided police with false information about his whereabouts.

On Monday, the United States Marshals Service announced they were looking for 30-year-old Wallace Anthony Booth Jr., who had an active federal warrant for his arrest and was believed to be in the Westover area of Monongalia County.

Booth was federally indicted on Nov. 1 for possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and unlawful possession of firearms and had since evaded arrest.

With the assistance of multiple local law enforcement agencies including Westover Police, Star City Police, Granville Police, and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Police, Booth was eventually found and taken into custody by the Marshals — but not before briefly evading police with a foot pursuit through Westover.

Law enforcement believed Booth to be hiding at an apartment on Holland Avenue in Westover and arrived on scene at the residence on Monday at about 12:21 p.m. to serve the warrant for his arrest, court documents said.

At the apartment, officers spoke with Gowers, who is the lessee of the residence, about why they were there. Gowers allegedly told officers that she was aware Booth had an active warrant for his arrest and admitted he had been at the residence, but had left and was no longer there.

According to a report filed by Westover Officer J. Carver, while speaking with Gowers, officers heard what sounded like a person in the ceiling of the apartment.  Booth had crawled into the ceiling area in an attempt to evade police. 

Booth was able to escape from the ceiling and flee, leading officers on a foot pursuit through town before being apprehended by law enforcement on Pierce Street.

Gowers was taken into custody for her role in harboring Booth and providing law enforcement false information.

She pleaded not guilty to one count of harboring a felon at an arraignment hearing in Monongalia County Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

Gowers is being held at North Central Regional Jail on $25,000 bond.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

Booth is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals and is awaiting an arraignment hearing in the U.S. District Court.

TWEET @DominionPostWV