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New Charges For Anthrax Suspect

An Ohio microbiologist accused in Nevada of having a biological agent as a weapon also has been charged with violating probation from an earlier case, federal authorities said today.

Larry Wayne Harris of Lancaster, Ohio, violated a prohibition against conducting certain experiments except in relation with verified employment, the U.S. attorney's office in Columbus said.

Harris and William Leavitt Jr. were arrested last week in Nevada and charged with felony counts of possessing a biological agent for use as a weapon.

Those charges now could be reduced or thrown out. Leavitt was released from jail on his own recognizance after FBI tests found the material seized from the men was a safe anthrax vaccine, rather than military-grade anthrax capable of slaughtering a city.

A detention hearing was scheduled for Monday in Las Vegas for Harris. Harris will not be returned to Ohio until the case in Las Vegas is resolved, or he is released on bond, U.S. Attorney Sharon Zealey said.

Harris was put on probation after a 1995 conviction for illegally obtaining bubonic plague bacteria through the mail.

FBI agents continued to investigate, and on Sunday they removed boxloads of materials from Leavitt's home in the farming community of Logandale, about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

Leavitt's attorney, Lamond Mills, called the search "a fishing expedition."

In Nevada, meanwhile, U.S. Senator Harry Reid said the biological weapons scare underscored the need to expand the now-limited anti-terrorism training at remote nuclear testing grounds.

With this anthrax thing, and problems with Saddam Hussein, I think we need to be better prepared,'' Reid said today before departing on a trip with Senator Pete Domenici, R-N.M., to the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

Reid said he wants to create a national counter-terrorism training center at the site. Law enforcement agencies from around the country conduct training at the site, where the nation tested its nuclear weapons from 1951 to 1992.

The trip was scheduled before the anthrax case, but took on added significance when the FBI Thursday announced the arrest of two men, claiming they were in possession of deadly anthrax bacteria.

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