Posted: 2/18/2006 3:28:59 AM EDT
Hope this isn't a dupe. Very interesting story.
FBI Probes Ozarks Trucking School
February 16, 2006
Over 18 Months, 60% of Tests Taken by Men With Middle Eastern Names
By MARCUS KABEL
Associated Press Writer
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) __ The FBI is investigating a commercial trucking school in West Plains whose director called authorities because a large number of people taking license tests had names that appeared to be Middle Eastern in origin.
The superintendent of the West Plains public school district, which runs the South Central Career Center Truck Training Program as part of vocational training, said the FBI had told district officials the investigation was focused on people who took the tests for a commercial driver's license.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, security efforts have included scrutiny of schools that train pilots as well as truck drivers who might be behind the wheel of rigs carrying tons of fuel or hazardous materials.
The FBI declined to comment except to acknowledge that there was an investigation. Agents exercised a search warrant at the school two weeks ago.
``It's an ongoing investigation and I can't comment. I can't say what we're looking at,'' said Jeff Lanza, spokesman for the FBI office in Kansas City.
The U.S. attorney's office for western Missouri said no charges have been filed but would not comment further. School district superintendent Karla Eslinger said the FBI took hard drives and records of people who took commercial driver's license tests.
She said these are people who walk in to take the test with records showing they completed training elsewhere, not students who trained at the school.
Eslinger said the trucking program's director, Dean Proffitt, had first contacted state police in 2003 to report his suspicions that a large number of people taking the CDL test had names that appeared to be Middle Eastern in origin.
``They're just names that you would question as to how come there were so many people of those origins, because in the area we don't have that many Middle Eastern people,'' Eslinger said. Records obtained from the school by The Associated Press under Missouri's open records law showed a high percentage of surnames such as Ali, Fatah, Mohamed and Yusuf.
Of about 520 people who did not train at the school but took the test there from May 2004 through December 2005, over 300, or about 60 percent, had names that could be Middle Eastern in origin.
The records are a monthly income statement for the school and do not include any addresses or other information, just the names of test takers.
Missouri can issue commercial driver's licenses to noncitizens residing in the state if they provide proof of identity, training and legal residence in the United States, according to the Department of Revenue Web site.
West Plains, about 100 miles southeast of Springfield near the Arkansas border, is a town of about 11,000 people in Howell County, where the population is over 95 percent white, according to the U.S. Census. The largest immigrant population is Hispanic.
``We don't have any community of Middle Eastern immigrants,'' Howell County Commissioner Larry Spence said, adding he was not aware of any similar immigrant groups in neighboring counties.
Eslinger said the truck driving program's director, Dean Proffitt, said he had first contacted the Highway Patrol in 2003 after noticing what he called a suspiciously high number of names that appeared to be Middle Eastern among those who walked in for the driver's test.
The issue went quiet again until the FBI arrived with a search warrant two weeks ago, she said.
Since then, the district school board has put Proffitt and one of the examiners on a leave of absence with pay on the advice of the districts lawyers.
The Highway Patrol has also removed the South Central Career Center Truck Training Program's ability to test for commercial driver's licenses, Eslinger said.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Maybe they're "just doing jobs that americans wont".
I drive/ own a rig.
I dont know what to think of this. Alot of the "rookies" out here are of "other" denominations.
I do know that if they cannot speak english they cannot move the truck.in other words the D.O.T. will shut them down on the spot.
Now are they gonna use the trucks a bomb? Doubt it. They will not go through the truoble of LEGALLY aquireing a CDL (Commercial Drivers Licsense). They wil ljust hijack a gas tank. BUT with all the barricades set up in important places, and malls with the way they design the parking lots it would be HARD to run it up to the bldg. You'd hit a curb and rip off the axles. Anyone see a tanker in a Mall call 911 no need for him/her to be there. PLUS you cannot have a HazMat load that close to the mass'.
Just dont let the Media scare you guys! we are HEAVILY regulated and watched like a hawk. More media scare tactics.
Who ever sadi "Doing what most americans wont"... garbage, its hard work and very un apprcieated. About like being a COP no one likes us
I thought about this for a few
there is a so called "driver shortage", People pay in upwards of 5000 bux to "learn" to drive a rig.
Many schools and some DMV branch locations have been under fire for "selling" CDLs.
It is more of a money scam than a terrosit plot.
NO company is gonna let loose a rookie with 3000 gals of gas!
For the most part new drivers are fed a line of crap to get them into the biz. "You can make 50 thou a yr driving a truck" BS! I make good money but no way in hell would I have made 50 G my first year!!
I have been at this for 13+ years ( minus a tour in college and a "real" job).
any questions I will answer the best I can, but I still Call on a terrorist plot.
I agree with you. What about the possibility that they are picking up containers at our ports?We've all heard that the global economy would collapse if 100% of the shipping containers were inspected. Do you know anything about it since you're in the biz?
I do not have facts on Container moves, BUT if they started delaying them, YES it would have a very heavy impact on the economy. Hell, if 1/3 of the trucks went on strike, you be wiping yer ass with leaves in 3 days! the General population has NO IDEA how vital we are to the ecnomy. think about it, what do you have in your house that did NOT arrive by truck?
There will always be illegal shipments on containers, $ bribes, etc. Hoffa was teh first and will not be the last . Its a huge game this indusrty, funny and a game of chess.
No offense meant. It was in reference to the statement made regarding migrant immigrant workers.
Nothing negative meant towards proffesional drivers.
Both my brother-in-law and my father-in-law fell for this. The FIL even retired from a very cushy job at a state prison (10 years early by "buying back" served military time, IIRC) to go into driving. He was working as a welder until he had an accident on the way to work one day, and the BIL still drives delivering loads of blacktop and macadam. They both made decent money over-the-road, but it came at the price of never being at home.
Oh boy, you are going to have FUN! That is once you are out on the road, be prepared for serious ridicule. You think GD in ARFCOM is bad .
1-3 yr drivers are safe, scared and a PITA, BUT safe
3-7 yr drivers are DANGEROUS!! Think they "know it all"
7+ yr driver are settled down and know they are dealing with 80,000 punds of instant death!
Best advice i can give you:
You know nothing and you will learn, it is a good living IF you can accept solidarity.
Take what you hear with a grain of salt. Most drivers are dumb fucks that know shit, but the O/O (owner operator) is well seasoned and can teach you a thing or 2.
I know of not one driver that wants to hurt a 4-wheeler, but we sure would LOVE to squash a few if not most. Be safe and ride the line of fear and respect.