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Man who fled youth exploitation trial found in county


By Eddie West

Staff Writer

A man set for trial on sexual exploitation of a minor charges in West Virginia was located in Smith County.

The suspect is the latest in a series of  individuals arrested by local law enforcement authorities in Smith County who were wanted in other states.

In the latest case, a man wanted in Berkeley County, West Virginia was taken into custody by Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) troopers, assigned to work Smith County. 

State Trooper Nathan Thomas encountered a man, identified as Michael F. Ryzner, 29 at the Smith County Welcome Center located on Interstate 40 at Buffalo Valley in Smith County.

Ryzner had a Knoxville address, according to booking records at the sheriffs department.

Once encountering Ryzner, Trooper Thomas requested backup from Trooper Dylan Palmer.

The troopers determined Ryzner was driving on licenses suspended out of New Mexico for failure to appear, according to court records.

While Ryzner was being booked into the Smith County Jail, law enforcement authorities discovered through a national crime network the suspect was wanted by law enforcement authorities in West Virginia for failure to answer a charge of sexual exploitation of a minor, according to court records.

According to law enforcement authorities, Ryzner was out on bond and fled West Virginia before his trial was to start  in September of this year.

Ryzner was charged in Smith County with driving on revoked license and being a fugitive from justice, according to court records.


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