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U-Haul theft nets two for many other charges

From the Knox County Ky Sheriff's Department -

On Monday September 14, 2020 at approximately 10:40 pm Knox County Deputies Bobby Jones and Jesse Smith received a report of a stolen U-Haul trailer just taken from the EZ Pawn Shop on Highway 1304 in Bimble, KY.

Deputy Smith observed the vehicle and U-Haul trailer traveling on Highway 3439 south of Barbourville. When Deputy Smith activated his blue lights the vehicle pulling the trailer accelerated and later turned off of Highway 3439 onto a gravel driveway in an attempt to flee from the deputies.


When Deputy Smith and Jones caught up with the vehicle, they observed a 2002 black Infinity SUV with Ohio licenses plate and the trailer abandoned in the driveway. The deputies located two individuals, who had no connection to anyone at the residence, hiding in the woods nearby. The deputies also observed a small amount of marijuana, digital scales and several syringes inside their vehicle.

Arrested was 26 year old Christopher Michael Banta of Lebanon, OH charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition-over $500, Fleeing or Evading Police-1st Degree, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Criminal Mischief-2nd Degree, Operating on Suspended or Revoked Operators License, No Registration Receipt and Failure to Register Transfer of Motor Vehicle.

45 year old Melissa D Winn of Dayhoit, KY was also arrested and charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition-over $500, Fleeing or Evading Police-1st Degree and Criminal Mischief-2nd Degree.

Christopher Banta and Melissa Winn were lodged in the Knox County Detention Center.

While being processed at the detention center, Christopher Winn stated he had tested positive for the COVID-19 Virus. After transporting him to the Barbourville ARH and then to the Baptist Regional Medical Center in Corbin where he tested negative.

After admitting he had lied about a positive COVID 19 test, Christopher Banta was charged with Interfering with Peace Officer in the Performance of his Duty.

KSP and Barbourville PD Officers assisted at the scene.

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