DELBARTON – Two law enforcement agencies have filed charges on a Delbarton man accused of impersonating a law enforcement officer and not fulfilling the requirements of a registered sex offender after failing to register his business, Mingo Crime Prevention Incorporated, with the West Virginia State Police.
A criminal complaint was filed by the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) on Shanan Blankenship, 40 from Delbarton, on charges related to impersonating a law enforcement officer and intimidation of and retaliation against public officers, employees, jurors and witnesses.
The criminal complaint states that the arrest was made after officers were informed that Blankenship was dressing in a police officer uniform, had strobe lights in his vehicle and was initiating traffic stops on vehicles.
Officials with the MCSD located Blankenship’s vehicle and initiated a traffic stop due to illegal lighting on the rear of the vehicle.
Upon contact with Blankenship, officers noticed what appeared to be a screen print copy of a police officer badge on the front of Blankenship’s shirt. Officers also noticed that Blankenship was wearing black pants with a black strip running down the side similar to a police officer’s uniform.
Officers then gained permission from Blankenship to search the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, officers found a strobe lighting system throughout the car that would suggest it was used as a police cruiser. Officers also found different types of two way police radios, a campaign hat, an ASP baton, hand cuffs, two replica BB guns which were identical to real handguns and various canisters of mace.
Officials with the West Virginia State Police have also filed charges against Blankenship. A separate criminal complaint states that a trooper was advised that Blankenship, a registered sex offender, had failed to register his business, Mingo Crime Prevention Incorporated with the WVSP.
The complaint states that the nonprofit business was established with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office May 13, 2015. The complaint states that Blankenship violated the WVSP Form 270 Notification of Sex Offender Responsibility and Registration Certification contract he had previously signed.
Blankenship also created a Facebook page for the crime prevention business. The profile picture currently displayed on the page depicts a badge which states, “Crime Prevention Officer.” Photos posted on the page show Blankenship dressed in uniform, several photos of a grey Chevy Malibu with a badge license plate and back decals, and photos of Blankenship posing with police vehicles and law enforcement officers.
According to Home Facts, Blankenship was convicted of attempted sexual assault on an adult female July 17, 2002 and spent four years and four months in a correctional facility prior to his release.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 exdt. 2279.)