Trucking rap sheet: Carrier-led cargo theft scheme, CDL exam cheaters, driver drug tester, chameleon carriers and more

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The courts have been busy of late dealing with trucking-related crimes, it seems, as the Departments of Transportation and Justice announced last week several updates to several trucking crime cases. Here’s a summary of what’s happened with each:

Former fleet owner gets 10 years for leading $3.5 million cargo theft operation

Earl Stanley Nunn of Memphis, Tenn., was sentenced this month to 10 years in prison for leading a cargo theft scheme that reportedly stole up to $3.5 million. He’s also been ordered to pay restitution in that amount.

The former owner of Nu World Trucking pleaded guilty last year to charges stemming from his role in a scheme in which Nu World drivers would rove truck stops and rest areas looking for unattended trailers that weren’t hooked to trucks. Upon finding them, they would hook and go. The carrier had co-conspirators around the country, according to prosecutors.

Chameleon carrier violator sentenced to three months in prison

Dorian Ayache, one of the players in the horse farm operation that caught national attention when it was involved in a bad crash that killed four horses, has been sentenced to three months in prison, a year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine.

Ayache pleaded guilty last year to violating an FMCSA-issued imminent hazard out-of-service order. Ayache and conspirator Theresa Vincent were co-owners of Terri’s Farm in Murfreesboro, Tenn. — a chameleon operation that reincarnated Three Angels Farms, previously shut down by FMCSA for violating a bevy of federal rules.

Vincent was ordered to a year of probation earlier this year.

Driver pleads guilty to not disclosing accidents to carrier, FMCSA

Driver Arnold Williams of Raleign, N.C., pleaded guilty in January to charges of making false statements on an FMCSA-required form in a driver employment application.

Williams violated federal law in April 2013 by not listing any previous accidents on the form, the DOT says.

Williams, at the time of application, had been charged with reckless homicide and possessing an open alcohol beverage container, according to the DOT, after he was involved in an accident in January 2013 that killed one person and injured three others.

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Conviction made in separate reincarnated carrier scheme

Lacey Lewis of Macon, Ga., has been convicted of conspiracy to violate an imminent hazard out-of-service order issued in 2008.

Lewis assisted Devasko Lewis, doing business as Lewis Trucking Company, in continuing to operate under two other companies (Eagle Transport and Eagle Trans) after Lewis Trucking had been shut down by FMCSA. The shutdown followed a crash in Alabama that killed seven people — which FMCSA says happened due to “serious violations” by Devasko Lewis.

Pennsylvania drug tester debarred after fraud scheme uncovered

A Pennsylvania-based medical examiner has been debarred from FMCSA’s list of approved medical examiners following the discovery that she falsified drug and alcohol tests of commercial truck drivers. Pope operated Eastgate Laboratory Testing and conducted drug tests for fleets in the area, including pre-employment, random and post-accident tests.

She was sentenced to eight months house arrest and ordered to pay $109,000 in restitution in December.

FMCSA determined that between 2008 and 2012, Pope used a computer-generated signature of a doctor who no longer worked at Eastgate to sign FMCSA-required paperwork.

Security guards plead guilty in CDL test-taking scheme

Two security guards in Brooklyn, N.Y., pleaded guilty in January to charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection to a “widespread fraudulent CDL test-taking scheme,” the DOt says, that was busted recently in New York.

Click here to read more of Overdrive’s recent coverage of the CDL scheme, which facilitated the use of cameras, Bluetooth pencils and other equipment to aid test takers during CDL exams.