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Inmate transport driver charged with kidnapping for refusing to hand over van

The driver of a prisoner transport has been charged with kidnapping after he was dropped off with a van full of prisoners, police said.

Joshua James Pinkett, 21, allegedly sent an email to his superiors announcing his resignation around 9 a.m. Tuesday while en route to Florida through North Carolina with four inmates. This was announced by the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

The anonymous inmate transportation company was hired by various law enforcement agencies around the country to transport inmates to and from various detention centers.


Joshua James Pinkett was charged with kidnapping for refusing to surrender a van full of prisoners.

In a series of messages, Pinkett claimed she was “refusing to visit my destination with prisoners” in Hickory, North Carolina, a city 90 miles northwest of Charlotte.

Along with the four inmates trapped in the cargo area, a fellow employee of the shipping company was also trapped in the van during Pinkett’s alleged meltdown.

Deputies easily stopped Pinkett on Interstate 40 outside Hickory and captured four prisoners.


The eastbound road is clear, so cars drive west on Interstate 40.
A van carrying four inmates was intercepted on a highway outside Hickory, North Carolina, but Pinkett refused to stop. Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The inmates were handed over to other employees of the transportation company and headed to their destination in Florida, the sheriff’s office said.

Pinkett was charged with felony second-degree kidnapping of an employee and five counts of felony theft.

He is being held without bail at the Iredell County Detention Center.

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