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Putnam man charged with making fake vehicle stickers

WINFIELD, W.Va. -- The editor of the West Virginia Record was charged with a felony this week after allegedly admitting that he created fake vehicle inspection and registration stickers.

Brian C. "Chris" Dickerson, 42, of Hurricane, was arrested Wednesday after a State Police trooper saw a fake motor vehicle inspection sticker on his blue Ford SUV, according to a criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court.

When Trooper B.K. Hammontree stopped Dickerson in the parking lot of the Putnam County Courthouse, Dickerson admitted he made the inspection sticker on his home computer and didn't have any insurance on the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Hammontree then checked Dickerson's license plate, which the trooper said was not on file with the state Division of Motor Vehicles.

"Upon further examination of the registration this Trooper noticed that the license plate had been forged by having a false registration sticker. After this Trooper noticed the sticker was false [Hammontree] began to remove the license plate at which time [Dickerson] advised that he had made it as well," according to the complaint.

Hammontree wrote in the complaint that Dickerson told him he had made the stickers on his computer about a year ago when other stickers expired.

Dickerson was charged with violating a law that says it's a felony to forge any certificates issued by the state. He was also charged for not having vehicle insurance, a misdemeanor.

Putnam Magistrate Kim Blair released Dickerson on a personal recognizance bond.

Dickerson is editor of the West Virginia Record, a free weekly paper funded by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform. The paper, which reports on lawsuits and legal matters throughout the state, strongly favors curbing what it claims are frivolous lawsuits in West Virginia. Dickerson is also editor of LegalNewsline.com, which describes itself as an online newswire that covers state supreme courts and attorneys general.

Dickerson could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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