|Lana Y. Banks (mug shot JCSO)|
A woman from Oronogo who tried to trade her newborn grandchild for a used car is facing charges of trafficking in children.
Authorities in Jasper County have been investigating Lana Yvonne Farris Banks, 44, since mid January after receiving information from officials with The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who received a hot line call from an unnamed couple alerting them to the scheme.
According to court documents, on January 13th Banks allegedly told the couple they would be allowed to adopt the baby that her daughter was carrying in exchange for a used car that was worth between $3,000 to $3,5000.
The couple reportedly told investigators they told Banks that was illegal and they wanted their attorney involved in future negotiations. After a few days Banks contacted the couple and asked if they would meet a "mediator" with her. When they insisted on bringing their attorney, Banks told them "never mind," she had found another couple interested in the same deal.
When the baby was born on March 10th, Banks, who was at a Joplin hospital with a couple from Florida who wanted to adopt the baby, was taken into custody but released after 24 hours pending the filing of formal charges.
Captain Derek Walrod says, "This isn't the woman's first child. We can't account for one that should be in the home. We are looking into allegations that she may have given another baby up for adoption. If that's true, we want to make sure it was done legally."
A judge issued a warrant for Banks' arrest on March 22nd and when she surrendered herself to authorities yesterday (04-01-11) she was accompanied by bondsman who immediately posted a $2,500 surety bond and a $1,000 cash bond.
Walrod, who has an adopted child says, "The child born on March 10th has been placed in protective custody."
Online court records do not indicate when Banks will next appear in court.