Crime report: Another CDL testing scheme, illegal radioactive material transport

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Activity in three trucking-related criminal cases involving illegal transport of radioactive materials, illegal transport of fireworks and CDL testing scheme was recently announced by the Department of Transportation.

A Puerto Rican trucking company – Fraticelli Trucking Company – was charged April 4 for illegally transporting Cobalt 60, a Class 7 highly radioactive material. The DOT’s Office of Inspector General says Fraticelli is the fourth-largest trucking company in Puerto Rico and one of only two companies there that transport radioactive materials.

OIG’s investigation found that the company allegedly transported Cobalt 60 without conducting the required pre-trip inspection on March 7, 2014. The report goes on to say Fraticelli willfully transported a “highway route controlled quantity” of the radioactive material on four separate occasions between December 2011 and March 2014 without conducting a pre-trip inspection.

In California, a man has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to one year in a county jail for the transportation and possession of a destructive device.

Larry Becnel was arrested in 2016 after authorities found large quantities of illegal fireworks in a warehouse, some of which had not been approved for shipment by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

In addition to the time in county jail, Becnel was also ordered to serve three years’ probation following his jail sentence and to pay $370 in fines for causing the transportation and possession of the illegal fireworks.

Finally, a Utah man pleaded guilty to making false statements related to CDL driver testing. Antonio Estuardo Tinti allegedly administered a CDL driving skills test to Gregorio Bozas and falsely certified that Bozas had passed the exam.

Tinti gave Bozas a passing score, even though he knew Bozas didn’t pass, OIG reports. The report states Bozas drover over several curbs, which is an automatic failure, but Tinti allegedly accepted a $150 bribe for a passing score.

As part of his plea, Tinti agreed to a lifetime ban from all aspects of the trucking industry.