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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Long-Haul Trucker Indicted For Kidnapping And Child Pornography Crimes

Woman Escaped After Being Kidnapped, Assaulted & Handcuffed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 27, 2020 – Roy Nellsch, 63, of Logan, Alabama, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Nashville, and charged with kidnapping, possession of child pornography and transportation of child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee.  Nellsch was transferred from the Montgomery County, Tennessee jail to federal custody earlier today and will make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge later this afternoon. 

According to the indictment and documents filed with the Court, on May 22, 2019, Nellsch, a long-haul trucker for more than 40 years, encountered a woman with car trouble on I-24, near Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The woman’s car was out of gas and Nellsch offered to give her a ride to the next exit, which was Exit 1 in Tennessee.  The woman accepted the ride and got into the truck and Nellsch proceeded to drive eastbound on I-24.  When Nellsch continued past Exit 1 and Exit 4, the woman became scared and started screaming. 

Nellsch then pulled over on the exit ramp at Exit 8 and pointed a handgun at the woman and told her he was kidnapping her and was going to rape her.  Nellsch ordered the woman into the sleeper part of the cab where he began assaulting her and ripped her dress.  During the struggle, the woman was able to turn the gun toward Nellsch and pull the trigger but it did not fire.  Nellsch produced another handgun and struck the woman in the head.  He then handcuffed the woman, placed a blanket over her, and continued driving along Interstate 24.

As Nellsch was driving, the woman was able to slip one hand out of the handcuffs.  She then placed the blanket over Nellsch’s head and placed one arm around his throat while she attempted to steer the truck and honk the horn with the other hand and screamed for him to pull over.  Nellsch pulled the truck to the side of road, took the remaining handcuff off the woman and she got out of the truck and flagged down oncoming motorists for help.  Nellsch drove away from the scene and was stopped and arrested a short time later in Springfield, Tennessee.

A subsequent search of the truck by law enforcement produced, among other items, two handguns; a stun gun; handcuffs; bags containing numerous pairs of women’s underwear and bras and numerous electronic devices, including a digital camera, laptop computers, cell phones, and media storage devices. A subsequent examination of the electronic devices found over 10,000 images and videos of child pornography, including videos depicting violence against small children and a ledger with lists of names, ages, locations and descriptions of women and children. 

If convicted, Nellsch faces up to life in prison.

Agencies participating in this investigation include the FBI; the Department of Homeland Security-Immigration & Customs Enforcement; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; and the Clarksville Police Department; with valuable assistance from the Coopertown Police Department and the Springfield Police Department.  Assistant U.S Attorney Brooke K. Schiferle is prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Violent Crime
Contact: 
David Boling Public Information Officer 615-736-5956 david.boling2@usdoj.gov
Updated February 27, 2020