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Two commercial vehicle inspectors who conducted a routine check of a Salt Lake City man's semi truck last year at a weigh station in Minnesota testified Wednesday they thought it was odd that a 19-year-old female relative with him refused to make eye contact.
In addition, they noted that driver Timothy Jay Vafeades was talking a lot which inspector Cynthia Harms said happens when someone "is trying to distract you."
"He would not let the female with him speak. He spoke for her," said Harms, adding that she felt something wasn't right.
Harms testified at a hearing in Salt Lake City before U.S. District Judge David Nuffer, who is considering a defense motion to throw out some of the evidence against Vafeades.
Vafeades, 54, a long-haul driver with a set of false vampire fangs, is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting two women, including the relative.
Defense attorneys are arguing that their client was held without reasonable suspicion on Nov. 26, 2013, in Moorhead, Minn., by the inspectors and that Minnesota State Patrol troopers also detained him without probable cause. Nuffer heard testimony on the matter on Wednesday and has scheduled a February hearing to hear arguments on the motion.
Harms and inspector Chad Olschlager both testified they became concerned after a computer check showed there was a 1999 protective order in Florida barring Vafeades from having contact with the relative. Although the order was 15 years old and the woman was no longer a minor, Olschlager flagged down Vafeades to stop him from driving out of the station while Harms called in Minnesota State Patrol troopers.
Trooper David Keenan testified that the protective order said Vafeades was to have no contact with the "minor" and that there was no expiration date on it. Florida authorities said the order was still in effect, Keenan said, and an assistant Clay County, Minn., attorney told him to arrest Vafeades.
Court documents allege authorities later found numerous images of child pornography on computer hard-drives confiscated from Vafeades' truck, named "Twilight Express."
The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, a North Dakota-based newspaper, reported that the relative told an investigator with the Clay County Sheriff's Department that Vafeades had several pairs of dentures for himself that he kept in his truck, including a set with two front teeth sharpened into vampire fangs.
Vafeades was indicted in March 2014 by a federal grand jury in Utah on two counts of kidnapping, two counts of transportation for illegal sexual activity, one count of transportation of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Federal prosecutors allege in court documents that Vafeades kidnapped and abused the two women by sexually assaulting them nearly daily, filing their teeth with a power tool, and cutting and dying their hair.
In addition, FBI agents have identified four more alleged victims of Vafeades. Prosecutors say in a court document that they intend to introduce evidence at trial from these four women to show a pattern of conduct.
The alleged crimes against the six occurred from 1994 to 2013.
Vafeades is being held in the Davis County jail without bail.