2 Men Charged With Criminal Trespassing At Steel Plant

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Two men working for a telecommunications company are charged with criminal trespassing after they were accused of driving past a security gate at a Timken Co. plant.

Faiq Arshad Farooqi, 25, of Richardson, Texas, and Abdiwahab Muhumed Madhobe, 39, of Arlington, Texas, did not identify themselves and did not stop at the security gatehouse of the bearings and steel manufacturer, Stark County Sheriff Tim Swanson said.

Each was charged with one count of criminal trespassing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. They were arrested Monday night.

Farooqi and Madhobe told deputies they worked for a major telecommunications company and were checking cellular phone towers and testing cellular signals, Swanson said.

A spokesman from the Engineering Network International of Bellview, Wash., told Swanson that one man is an engineer and the other is a driver.

They were conducting cellular tower strength tests that include canvassing a specific area while checking cell tower strengths with specialized equipment. Swanson said he was told the men were supposed to respect private property during their canvassing.

The FBI is investigating the men's backgrounds and also has asked for help from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, said Robert Hawk, special agent at the FBI's Cleveland office.

Farooqi is a Pakistan native and Madhobe is a native of Kenya.

"This is an unusual circumstance," Hawk said. "You have two Middle Eastern men who are crashing down the gate and they don't appear to have a purpose. So we're looking into that."

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)