If You See Mikel Knight Vans and Tour Buses in Utica Rome Area Stay Away
Have you heard of Mikel Knight? His vans and buses have been spotted around the country with street teams peddling CDs in parking lots for years. Today they've been spotted in the Utica/Rome area.
Knight hires people known as the 'Maverick Dirt Road Street Teams' to travel the country selling his CDs. His 'team' has been accused of being overly aggressive in an article by Music journalist Kyle “Trigger” Coroneos. Team members have been arrested in several states including Monday, April 4th where the Fleetwood Police in Pennsylvania arrested the folks on several solicitation violations.
Rome police know the vans are in the area. They've posted an advisory on their Facebook page and encourage anyone who has problems to call them. "We are aware of the busses and advise people to simply avoid them. If you are confronted or have any issues you can call the station at 315-339-7780 or if you have an emergency call 911."
Kim Shapely saw the bus at the Walmart in Norwich yesterday. Marc Aldico says he saw them at the North Utica Walmart where they "met me at my car before I even opened the door."
Former street team members have started a Facebook page to make the public aware of how they were treated. There are claims of abuse, being over worked and two were killed in an accident in June of 2014. One former member, Ky Rogers shared his story on Facebook after getting into a crash. He says he was hired as Knight's lead guitarist but was told to sell CDs, not tour. "For a month to 2 months straight, we would get up at 6:30 AM and would not stop selling until midnight," writes Rogers. He claims they slept in vans, missing showers and were harassed by Knight. "I can't tell you how many people's lives I've heard him threaten."
"Everyone needs to know about how this man truly is, this "Mikel Knight". His real name is Jason Cross. He's a Texas gangster that hides his real name because of Legal reasons back in Texas. And he has perfected a hustle with dumb and innocent young teenagers."
Court records in Nashville show Knight has been arrested a number of times on several charges including assault, harassment and theft.
Knight was given the opportunity to tell his side during a morning interview to which his publicist agreed to. But in an email from the VP of his label 1203 Entertainment ,we were told “When “The Big Frog” is ready to play Mikel Knights music and discuss the positive things that the MDRST does for the community we will entertain their request. We respectfully decline.”