Action in five trucking-related crimes – including drug busts, CDL schemes and DOT medical exam fraud – has recently been reported by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General; the Norman (Oklahoma) Police Department; and Indiana State Police.
Driver busted in Indiana with $5 million worth of drugs
A California-licensed truck driver was arrested by Indiana State Police on Oct. 30 after inspection officers found approximately $5 million worth of drugs in the trailer during an inspection.
ISP reports the truck was pulled in for a routine DOT inspection, and officers noticed several “criminal indicators” in conversation with the driver. A search of the tractor-trailer yielded 220 pounds of suspected cocaine and 65 pounds of suspected methamphetamine.
Ravninder Singh Kaler, age 22, of Bakersfield, California, was arrested and charged with a felony count of dealing narcotics and a felony count of possession of narcotics.
Trucker caught with $4.4 million in liquid meth in fuel tank
A truck driver and passenger were arrested Monday, Oct. 22 when police found $4.4 million worth of liquid methamphetamine in the passenger side fuel tank of a parked tractor-trailer. The Norman Police Department says it’s among the largest drug seizures in Oklahoma state history.
The Norman Police Department reports its officers found 1,262 pounds of liquid meth inside the semi-truck in the parking lot of a hotel.
Arrested were 36-year-old Enrique Lara and 21-year-old Jasmine Morales for aggravated trafficking. They were booked into the Cleveland County Detention Center.
Mississippi CDL examiner sentenced in fraud scheme
Derrious Dillon was sentenced Oct. 2 to two years in prison, one year of supervised release, a $1,500 partial fine and a special assessment of $100 for his role in a fraudulent CDL skills testing scheme.
According to OIG, Dillon worked for a company that provided training and certification for drivers seeking CDLs. He was fired in 2014, and he obtained a list of CDL instructors authorized in Mississippi, along with their identification numbers. He used that information to prepare fraudulent paperwork, which he gave to people looking to obtain a CDL in exchange for between $200 and $400 each.
The drivers used the fraudulent paperwork to obtain CDLs, and some CDL holders admitted they never took the skills test.
California man sentenced in fraudulent CDL scheme
Damanpreet Singh was sentenced Sept. 14 to two years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment fee after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery.
Singh allegedly conspired with two California DMV employees, Lisa Terraciana and Aaron Gilliam, to accept bribes to alter DMV records to show people had passed tests needed to obtain a CDL.
OIG reports at least 60 drivers’ records were fraudulently updated. Singh reportedly received approximately $90,000, some of which he paid to his co-conspirators.
Pennsylvania doctor charged in DOT medical exam fraud case
Dr. Michael A. McCormick, a DOT-certified medical examiner, has been charged with making a false writing or document and aiding and abetting others in the making of a false writing or document that contained a materially fake statement.
OIG reports that in April 2017, McCormick caused staff at his business, Express Med Urgent Care, to conduct a DOT physical on a patient wanting to drive a commercial vehicle. The staff members were not certified medical examiners but completed the exam and issued a DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate under McCormick’s name.
McCormick allegedly knew the certificate and report were false because he didn’t perform the exam.