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Press Release

Michigan Man Arrested For Federal Kidnapping, Firearms, And Drug Trafficking Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Tennessee

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Michael Harris, 35, was arrested Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Knoxville, Tennessee by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Knoxville Police Department (KPD), and Knox County Sheriff’s Office on charges involving kidnapping an officer assisting federal authorities, prior convicted felon in possession of firearms, and possession with intent to distribute narcotics.

Harris made his initial appearance today, April 26, 2022, at 11:00 am in United States District Court in Knoxville, before the Honorable Debra C. Poplin, United States Magistrate Judge, and was detained pending further proceedings. 

According to the complaint filed on April 25, 2022, ATF agents, Knoxville Police officers with the Organized Crime Unit and Special Operation Squad, and Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputies were conducting a surveillance operation at the RK Gun Show located at the Expo Center, located at 5441 Clinton Highway, I-75 Expo Center in Knoxville, Tennessee.

During the operation, law enforcement observed Harris purchasing several firearms and firearm accessories at various vendors inside the R.K. Gun Show.  Harris was also using Facetime as he walked around the gun show showing different guns and accessories to an unknown individual.  Due to this suspicious activity, law enforcement followed Harris to a vehicle in the parking lot of the Knoxville Expo Center and observed him loading firearms and firearm accessories into the back of a rented, red Chrysler minivan.  

After a brief surveillance, officers located the red Chrysler minivan parked in a parking spot at the Shell gas station located at 6730 Clinton Highway, Knoxville, Tennessee, and activated their blue lights on their marked vehicles and approached the minivan.  Officers immediately smelled the odor of marijuana wafting from the minivan.  Harris exited the minivan, and an officer began to search the backseat area of the minivan.  Harris noticed this and re-entered the minivan and drove away with the officer still inside.  The officer in the minivan attempted to subdue Harris and to gain control of the vehicle.  Harris drove the minivan into oncoming traffic and crashed into another vehicle.  Harris fled the violent accident on foot but was apprehended in the adjacent woods a short time later.  The officer in the minivan sustained serious injuries.  Officers recovered approximately two pounds of methamphetamine, additional quantities of heroin and marijuana, and multiple firearms and rounds of ammunition during a subsequent search of the minivan.  Harris was determined to be a convicted felon.

The details of the charges, which include: federal kidnapping, 18 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(5), possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), and possession with intent to distribute more than fifty grams of methamphetamine, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(A) - are outlined in the arrest warrant and supporting affidavit, which are filed as public records in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville, Case Number 3:22-mj-1110. 

U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton III of the Eastern District of Tennessee made the announcement.

The investigation was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Knoxville Police Department, and the Knoxville Sheriff’s Office.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anne-Marie Svolto of the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Members of the public are reminded that these are only charges and that every person is presumed innocent until their guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.




Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 545-4167

Updated April 26, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime