Social media explodes with talk of ‘Mikel Knight’ vans

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Social media has been abuzz with images and comments about “Mikel Knight” vehicles in the area.

Many are asking that if residents spot the vans that they alert the police.

But why?

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Mikel Knight, who is originally from San Antonio, Texas, and is now based out of Nashville, Tenn., is a country rap artist. He is not signed to a music label, but instead sells his albums out of vans by a group known as the “Maverick Dirt Road Street Team.”

The vans have been spotted in Butler County in recent days.

That’s where the controversy surrounding the artist begins.

There are allegations that street team members have suffered physical abuse, and mental anguish and some individuals have allegedly been abandoned in small towns if they did not make their sales quotas.

There is even a Facebook page named “Families Against Mikel Knight and the Maverick Dirt Road Street Team.”

The page administrators say its aim is to help protect young adults from the danger Mikel Knight puts them in with the Maverick Dirt Road Street Team. It asks that the police be called if the vans are spotted.

Street team members are regularly cited or arrested for operating without a proper peddler’s license.

Knight, whose real name is said to be Jason Cross or Jason Michael Cross, also has a criminal record. He has been arrested for aggravated assault, vandalism, theft and driving with a revoked license.

However, Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden said he was aware of the “Mikel Knight” vehicles in the area, but that the group had done nothing illegal while in Butler County.

“He checked out OK,” Harden said.