Daily dispatch, Feb. 26: Top 250 carrier lays off nearly 60 drivers as part of cut backs

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020:

Black Horse Carriers closes Wisconsin terminal
A large Illinois carrier is laying off 61 truck drivers in Wisconsin due to lost business in the area, according to a notice filed Feb. 21 with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Black Horse Carriers (No. 60 on the CCJ Top 250) is closing its terminal located in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, which was “prompted by [a] customer’s decision given on Friday, Feb. 21, to discontinue business” with the fleet at that location, the notice states. The closure will lay off 68 total employees, 61 of which are truck drivers. The notice says the company expected the closure to happen Monday, Feb. 24.

The notice adds that the company “will ensure that employees will be paid all earned wages and agree upon benefits at the time of their termination.”

According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration numbers, the Carol Stream, Illinois-based fleet runs nearly 2,500 trucks with more than 3,000 drivers.

Alabama trucking school owner pleads guilty for bribery scheme
James F. Welburn, of Fortson, Georgia, pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to conspiracy to commit bribery and fraud during a scheme to defraud Georgia’s CDL program, according to the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

Welburn is the owner and president of American Truck Driving Academy, a CDL school in Opelika, Alabama. According to a plea agreement, he issued cash payments to a third-party CDL examiner at the Georgia Department of Driver Services for each ATDA student tested. The agreement adds that Welburn intended to influence the examiner to give ATDA students favorable treatment during CDL exams.

Border Patrol agents found more than $18 million worth of drugs in a load of broccoli. (CBP photo)Border Patrol agents found more than $18 million worth of drugs in a load of broccoli. (CBP photo)

Trucker busted at border with more than $18M in meth, other narcotics
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found more than $18 million worth of hard narcotics, most of which was allegedly methamphetamine, in a tractor-trailer load of broccoli.

The agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in southeast Texas, on Feb. 16, referred a tractor-trailer hauling a load of fresh broccoli for further examination. The inspection allowed officers to find 432 packages of suspected narcotics hidden in the trailer.

Officers removed and seized 341 packages of alleged meth weighing 895 pounds valued at $18 million, 87 packages of alleged marijuana weighing 202 pounds valued at $40,000, three packages of alleged heroin weighing 8.82 pounds worth $353,000, and one package of alleged cocaine weighing 3.31 pounds valued at $25,500.