Four drivers sentenced in logbook falsification case

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Four former drivers for a California trucking company recently were sentenced to varying jail terms in U.S. District Court on charges of making false statements. All of the four men previously had pleaded guilty to keeping false driver’s logbooks while employed as drivers for Madera-based Nijjar Brothers Trucking, according to the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

On Nov. 14, Greg Allen Mello was sentenced to 15 months in prison, Pedro Farias-Lopez and Muhammad Arshid Chaudhry each received a three-month jail sentence, and Baljinder Singh was sentenced to 135 days imprisonment during the Nov. 14 court hearing in Fresno, Calif.; each driver also was ordered to pay a $100 fine and serve 24 months supervised release. Nine other drivers for Nijjar previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

Separate criminal charges are pending against Singh in Arizona for the Sept. 30, 2003, death of a man and his 13-year-old son in a collision with Singh’s truck. Singh allegedly had been driving for at least 19 hours without rest, according to OIG; six other people were injured in the four-vehicle crash. OIG investigated the criminal case with assistance from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the California Highway Patrol.