From suspect to false alarm to arrest, hiker charged

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ERWIN, Tenn. (WJHL) - A man, who authorities first said was not a threat, has been arrested.

Police arrested the man accused of threatening hikers on the Appalachian Trail, according to Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley.

The suspect, who goes by the name "Sovereign," was identified as 30-year-old James Jordon of Massachusetts. Sheriff Hensley said Jordon was found with a large knife, estimated over 20 inches long.

He is charged possession of schedule six drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and criminal impersonation. Sheriff Hensley said Jordon will face an additional aggravated assault charge.

He is in the Unicoi County Jail.

According to WLOS, the Madison County Sheriff's Office made contact with the man on Monday after original reports indicated the hiker threatened others on the trail at Devils Fork and also in Madison County, N.C. Authorities told WLOS at that time he did not appear to be a threat.

Hensley said on his personal Facebook page, upon initial interaction with Jordan in Madison County, North Carolina, authorities found no charges against him and that he was not carrying a machete.

However, Hensley went on to post the man was later found in Unicoi County and at that time was in possession of a large knife.

"This person has ran hikers out of shelters with a shovel at Jerry’s Cabin located in Madison County NC. Forest Service Law Enforcement was notified by hikers. Yesterday in Unicoi County, he brandished a knife & machete and stated it was going to be a bad day for hikers," Hensley said in another comment on Facebook.

The man was originally seen entering the Appalachian Trail on Rector Laurel about 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The man was also traveling with a pit bull.

Hensley said the Madison County Sheriff's Department and the National Forest Service also received calls about the individual.