Six weeks after a company driver made a “wrong turn” and wound up in Mexico with a load of ammunition – and subsequently was jailed by Mexican authorities – the company has now been shut down by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered Texas-based Denny Mekenye, doing business as Demco Express and/or Demco Trans Inc. to immediately cease all transportation services based on serious safety violations that posed an imminent hazard to public safety.
The above chart shows the CSA report on Demco Trans Inc., which is in alert status in all five of the publicly viewable BASICs.
According to an agency press release, the company was shut down following an extensive review of the company’s operations that uncovered multiple federal safety violations in the areas of drivers’ hours-of-service compliance, driver qualifications and drug testing requirements.
A quick look at the company’s Comprehensive, Safety, Accountability profile would leave few questions as to why agency enforcement officials chose to shut Demco down.
The motor carrier at closing was in alert status in all five of the publicly viewable BASICs – categories in which the agency monitors safety compliance through roadside inspections and crash reports.
The 72-truck motor carrier, Demco was in the 90th percentile or higher in the Unsafe Driving, Fatigued Driving, Driver Fitness and Vehicle Maintenance BASICs. The only BASIC with a percentile ranking lower than a 90 was the Controlled Substance and Alcohol BASIC. The company had a percentile ranking of 81.2 in that category.
Investigators discovered that the company falsified drivers’ records of duty status; allowed its drivers to operate with commercial driver's licenses that had been suspended, revoked or disqualified; and did not conduct proper controlled substances testing of its drivers, according to the release. In addition, within the last 12 months, 10 of Demco’s drivers have been placed out of service for not being licensed to drive.
The out-of-service order comes six weeks to the day after one of Demco’s drivers was arrested by the Mexican authorities with a load of ammunition.
Jabin Akeem Bogan of Dallas was hauling a trailer with Texas plates and the logo “McKinney Trailer Rentals.” The ammunition he was carrying is used for AK-47 and AR-15 rifles. The bullets are legal to buy in the U.S., but not in Mexico.
Bogan has claimed his innocence, stating he was directed by U.S. officials to use a bridge to turn around after making a wrong turn. That bridge led him into Mexico where he was subsequently arrested.
However, The Associated Press reported that a spokesman with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said common practice in such a case as a wrong turn is to stop traffic and allow the vehicle to make a U-turn – on the U.S. side of the border.
Bogan has been charged by Mexican authorities with introducing ammunition that is for the exclusive use of the military. If convicted, he faces 25 years in prison, according to the El Paso Times.
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