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Joshua James Pinquet
courtesy of Iredell Co. Sheriff's Office

Driver of Prisoner Transport Van Quits Job en Route; Is Charged with Kidnapping

21-year-old Joshua James Pinquet of Orlando, Florida was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers Tuesday (November 28) on five felony counts of second-degree kidnapping and one felony count of larceny by employee.

At about nine o’clock Tuesday morning, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office took a call to be on the lookout for an inmate transport van traveling on Interstate 40 in Statesville. The caller, who was the owner of the inmate transport company, said the driver, Joshua James Pinquet, was off-course and had refused to return the van. The van contained four inmates in a locked cargo area. One other employee was also in the van. Pinquet communicated with the transport company owner through text messages. He told the owner that he was quitting his job in the middle of the trip. He refused 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.

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. Pinquet was supposed to stop at a location in Hickory, but refused to do so and continued traveling into Iredell County.

Pinquet was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center where he is being held without bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled yesterday.

The inmates were turned over to additional personnel from the original transport company, which then continued to their destination in Florida.