A 21-year-old Orlando man who was transporting prison inmates was off course while in North Carolina and was refusing to return the van, as he decided to “quit” his job with four inmates in the locked cargo area of the van. He now faces multiple charges of kidnapping and felony larceny.
According to the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, they received a call to be on the lookout for an inmate transport van traveling on Interstate 40 in Statesville, NC. The caller was the owner of the inmate transport company and reported the driver was off course and refusing to return the van.
The driver was identified as Joshua James Pinquet, of Orlando, Florida, and reportedly had four inmates in the locked cargo area of the van. One other employee was traveling in the van with Pinquet, who was communicating through text messages with the transport company owner, according to law enforcement.
Pinquet told the owner that he was quitting his job in the middle of the trip and refusing to stop at the intended destination with the prisoners.
Deputies quickly located and stopped the van on Interstate 40 near mile marker 154. Deputies detained both employees and ensured all inmates were secured in the rear of the van.
During the investigation, detectives learned the transport company had been hired by various law enforcement agencies outside North Carolina to deliver inmates to and from various detention centers around the country. The detectives conducted interviews and learned Pinquet was supposed to stop at a location in Hickory with the inmates but had refused to stop and continued traveling Interstate 40 into Iredell County.
Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Detectives charged Pinquet with five counts of Felony Second Felony-Degree Kidnapping and Felony Larceny by Employee.
Pinquet was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center, where he appeared before Magistrate R. Imes, who issued No Bond on these charges.
The inmates were turned over to additional personnel from the original transport company and continued to their destinations in Florida.