Kirk Kelly is considered one of Florida’s most wanted criminals for allegedly trafficking guns. He was pulled over on Feb. 21 for suspicious activity in Tallmadge, Ohio, and while he was in custody, he reportedly attempted to chew off his fingerprints to avoid identification and extradition to Florida.
Tallmadge Police Chief Ronald Williams said Kelly initially gave two fake IDs and his younger brother’s name, reports AL.com. Kelly admitted he was from Tampa, Florida, and police identified him by his tattoos, which included Tampa’s area code, the logo of the Tampa Bay Rays and the phrase “Port Tampa.”
Williams said Kelly overheard police discussing using fingerprints to positively identify him, at which point Kelly chewed the skin off his fingertips.
"Sometimes we will have people sand them, but we have never heard of anybody chewing their fingerprints off," Williams told WTVT.
Kelly has several warrants out for his arrest in Florida and the charges include racketeering, drug trafficking and illegally selling handguns. Williams said handguns sold by Kelly have been linked to 15 murders.
"We have been looking for him, we think he is a major player here in Tampa in that regard," said Steve Hegarty of Tampa Police. Law enforcement officials believe Kelly was trying to get as far away from Florida as possible using buses, although some of the warrants for his arrest were nationwide.
Hegarty added, "He knows that he is facing some pretty serious jail time, I think he was pretty desperate.”
Williams said the whole case was bizarre. “We run into people with warrants all the time,” told WTVT. "It is pretty unusual we find somebody from a thousand miles away.”
Kelly will be extradited to Florida. He's facing additional charges for allegedly chewing his fingertips off.