Mass. fleet owner pleads guilty to bribery; FMCSA shuts down three drivers
A Massachusetts trucking company owner has agreed to plead guilty to attempting to bribe a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigator.
Irfan Dushku, owner of Korca Enterprises, Inc., is scheduled to enter his plea in Worcester’s federal district court Nov. 21. According to his Sept. 9 plea agreement, the 43-year-old Worcester man paid a FMCSA safety investigator $1,000 hoping to prevent a negative compliance review last May.
The U.S. attorney for Massachusetts said the proprietor of the six-truck company was charged Sept. 26 in a one-count information with bribery of a public official. FMCSA records list the carrier as having operating authority, but notes a 53-percent vehicle out-of-service rate and 12 inspections during the past 24 months.
In exchange for the plea, the prosecutor agreed to recommend 12 months of probation, with the first six months in home confinement, 24 months of supervised release and a special assessment of $100. –Jill Dunn
Three drivers declared imminent hazards to public safety
Three long-haul drivers — licensed in the states of Michigan, Texas and Illinois, respectively — have been ordered to cease interstate operations after investigations uncovered serious violations of federal safety regulations, FMCSA said. All three investigations proceeded from the drivers’ involvement in crashes, two of which resulted in at least one fatality and the third a serious injury to a police officer.
Related: Crackdown!, the final installment of the “Crashes and Interventions” portion of Overdrive‘s CSA’s Data Trail series
Michigan-licensed driver Tracy A. Ferrell, said FMCSA, was involved in a crash on U.S. Highway 23 in Pickaway County, Ohio, with a passenger vehicle. The driver of the passenger vehicle was killed, and subsequent investigation determined that Ferrell had repeatedly and excessively falsified his driver on-duty records throughout the five-week period prior to the crash.
Texas-licensed Scotty G. Arnst struck two pedestrians changing a flat tire on the roadway shoulder, said FMCSA, and both individuals were killed. Investigation by FMCSA determined Arnst failed to disclose to three separate employers during the previous nine-month period his involvement in five commercial motor vehicle crashes in addition to his prior terminations as a commercial vehicle operator for high-risk driving. They also found that Arnst had potentially disqualifying medical conditions he had repeatedly failed to disclose to employers or otherwise had submitted an outdated medical examiner certificate required by federal regulations.
Illinois-based Stewart G. Snedeker, FMCSA said, struck a tow truck and Tennessee Highway Patrol cruiser on I-75 in Campbell County, Tenn. The vehicles had been parked on the roadway shoulder with their emergency lights flashing. A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was seriously injured in the crash. Snedeker fled the scene and was later apprehended and charged with driving under the influence, reckless endangerment and other infractions. Investigation by FMCSA, the agency said, determined Snedeker had potentially disqualifying medical conditions and falsified his medical history to wrongfully obtain a medical examiner certificate.
Imminent hazard out-of-service orders, whether for carriers or drivers, are unique to each individual circumstance, noted FMCSA spokesman Duane Debruyne. All, however, will require specific remediation activities in order to regain authority to operate in interstate commerce.
"There probably should be some minimum standards. But as long as the ...