Action in three trucking-related crimes has recently been reported by the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General and the Indiana State Police, including a Virginia DOT fraud scheme, a tanker driver illegally transporting hazmat, and a trucker arrested for drug possession.
Indiana State Police reported Mississippi-based trucker Barry G. Phelps was arrested Feb. 20 after a search of his truck yielded a handgun, cocaine, marijuana and $7,060 in cash.
According to ISP, Phelps was pulled over for speeding, and when the officer approached the truck, “he could smell an odor of burnt marijuana” coming from the truck. Phelps was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, dealing in cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of a handgun without a permit, operating while intoxicated and maintaining a common nuisance.
Two Virginia DOT supervisors and four trucking company owners pleaded guilty recently to a fraud scheme. VDOT supervisors Anthony Willie and Kenneth Adams allegedly used their official positions to enrich themselves, according to the OIG.
The pair allegedly negotiated bribe agreements with several owners and operators of trucking and snow-removal companies in northern Virginia. In exchange for snow-removal work, the trucking company owners provided Willie and Adams with a percentage or flat rate of their hourly contracts as cash payments, OIG reports. The pair also allegedly signed off on invoices to VDOT.
During the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 snow seasons, Adams and Willie received approximately $140,000 in cash bribes.
Trucking company owners Rolando Moran, Elmer Mejia, John Williamson and Shaheen Sariri all pleaded guilty in relation to the scheme.
An Indiana man was arrested and charged with altering and tampering with markings associated with inspections and tests of a cargo tank used to haul hazmat.
According to OIG, Kevin Cleveland operated as an intrastate carrier of petroleum products in the greater Indianapolis area. In addition to tampering with cargo tank test markings, he was also charged with using a cargo tanker to haul hazmat that had not been properly tested.