Sanders to appear first in Arizona for charges

By Lesley Hughes
star staff

  The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Wednesday that a former Carter County businessman recently arrested in Albuquerque, N.M. on numerous charges of customer fraud was apprehended during a residential call. Carroll Carson Sanders, former owner of East Tennessee Motorsports, had outstanding warrants and charges of super fraud exceeding $1.6 million in Arizona and Tennessee.
  THP Special Agent Dan Bowman did not give details of the residential call, except to say that Sanders was arrested by a female officer. He waived extradition to Pima County, Ariz., where he faces charges at the Oro Valley Police Department.
  Carter County Sheriff's Department Investigator Johnny Blankenship is in charge of coordinating extradition back to Tennessee. Bowman said when the first steps are taken in Pima County, Ariz., then it might be possible for Sanders to be transported to Tennessee to face charges here also.
  Attempts to contact OVPD Detective A.J. "Buddy" Novak, handling the Arizona charges, were unsuccessful.
  Bowman said, "I am grateful that he is in custody. We have worked two to three good leads, but those leads went very cold quick." He added two months had passed since he received a lead on Sanders' whereabouts. "I had no information indicating he was in New Mexico," he said.
  Sanders has not been seen in Carter County since he vacated his home at 525 Golf Course Dr. and his business, East Tennessee Motorsports, located at 1510 Stateline Rd. and 238 East Elk Avenue. Sanders posted a corporate bond of $10,000 when he was arrested on Jan. 9 this year.
   Before moving to Tennessee in May 2003, Sanders and his son operated a motorsports business in Arizona, near Tucson. According to Arizona Assistant Attorney General Paul Eckerstrom, Sanders was arrested on May 2, 2003 by the OVPD and charged with three counts of fraudulent schemes and artifice, which are Class Two felonies in Arizona.
  The monetary total he allegedly swindled from customers in Arizona has surpassed $1.6 million, according to the OVPD. Novak said since learning of the charges and warrants in Carter County, Sanders will not be eligible for a plea bargain as the detective previously planned.
  In Tennessee, he is accused of selling vehicles, parts and accessories to customers on a "sight unseen" basis. According to Bowman, Sanders would give detailed descriptions of the products he was supposedly selling to his customers complete with vehicle vin numbers, pictures, and, on some occasions, handwritten receipts.
  In February 2004, Bowman said, "Recent reports reveal the amount of money has reached over $200,000." Reports continue to be filed at the CCSD and EPD against Sanders.