Blotter: Man faces sexual exploitation charge for images on Instagram

Published 11:44 am Friday, April 16, 2021

SALISBURY — A 44-year-old Kannapolis man was charged Wednesday after law enforcement officers allegedly found child pornography on his Instagram account.

Michael Joe Banks of Waco Street was charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Banks already faces charges for felony concealment of death and failure to report death in the case of Tammy Lynn Becerra, a 45-year-old who was found dead in a wooded area off of Shuping Mill Road near the Rowan-Cabarrus line. Becerra’s dead body was found March 23 by a motorist leaving home. She allegedly was placed there by Banks and a Kannapolis woman, Brooke Lynn Griffin, and was last seek alive using narcotics at a home on Canyon Lane.

The new charge for Banks came from a search warrant issued in connection with the case, said Maj. John Sifford. As part of the search warrant, Sifford said, law enforcement officers obtained access to Banks’ Instagram archive.

Banks remained in jail Friday on a total bond of $115,000, including $10,000 for the third-degree sexual exploitation charge.

In other Rowan County Sheriff’s Office reports:

• Illegal dumping was reported Wednesday at the intersection of St. James Way and Max Avenue in Salisbury.

• A woman reported a simple assault Wednesday in the 7900 block of U.S. 52.

• A man on Wednesday reported a larceny from a motor vehicle in the 7100 block of Grandeur Drive in Salisbury.

• Sheriff’s deputies on Wednesday helped Duke Energy recover property Wednesday in the 400 block of Grants Creek Road.

• A woman on Wednesday reported a stolen vehicle in the 300 block of Geter Road in Woodleaf.

• A woman on Wednesday reported a burglary in the 700 block of Gold Knob Road in Rockwell.

• Lion’s Share Credit Union on Wednesday reported an attempt at using a stolen credit card for an online purchase.

• Keith Scott Furr, 36, was charged Wednesday with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

In Salisbury Police reports:

• A woman on Thursday reported an assault in the 900 block of East Innes Street.

• Julie Ann Lewis, 22, was charged Thursday with felony possession of a schedule one controlled substance in the 600 block of Mooresville Road.

• Amber Nicole Tidwell, 32, was charged Thursday with felony possession of a schedule two controlled substance.

Tidwell allegedly was driving a Ford Focus that was stopped near the near the interchange for Interstate 85 and Julian Road. Police said drove around the vehicle until it restarted and drove toward a shopping center known as Wallace Commons on Klumac Road.

Police said Tidwell’ vehicle veered into a curb and blew a tire. She allegedly was found slumped over the wheel of her vehicle near Kay Jewelers.

Inside her car, police allegedly found several prescription pill bottles.