Report: Convicted trucking firm owner may face prison time

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A federal appeals court says prison is the proper place for the owner of an East Texas trucking firm who was convicted in a scheme to bribe an Arkansas highway official, according to the Associated Press. The Little Rock court says U.S. District Judge George Howard Jr. didn’t have sufficient reason to sentence Joe Mack Pool to probation instead of the recommended prison time.

Pool — the owner of Machinery Transport Inc., based in Henderson, Texas — was convicted in 2005 on 97 counts of bribery, money laundering and conspiracy. He was accused of participating in a scheme to bribe an Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department employee to get permits quicker or to transport overweight loads on Arkansas roads.

The judge sentenced Pool last year to five years’ probation. The appeals court on Monday, Jan. 29, sent the case back to Howard to impose a prison sentence of 33 to 41 months, as recommended by federal sentencing guidelines, the AP reported.