Former trucking boss gets jail time

| Friday, September 28, 2001

The former owner of a Pennsylvania trucking company has been sent to prison for repeatedly violating truck safety laws. Investigators with the U.S. Department of Transportation found more than 2,000 false log entries.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter issued a six-month sentence for David Delong, who ran Dave Kistler & Grandson Inc. of Lynn Township until a few months ago, the Lehigh Valley News reported. Delong's mother, Faye, who helped run the company, was ordered to serve six months of at-home confinement.

The Delongs pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the Transportation Department.

David Delong also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the making of false statements to the DOT.

A grand jury filed the charges in 1999 after federal officials had warned the company about the violations, levied a fine and temporarily ordered the company closed. But the violations continued.

The company systematically violated drivers' hours of service, thus avoiding the need to hire more drivers, according to the newspaper. One driver drove 36 hours without sleep and most averaged 19-hour driving days.

Company drivers were reportedly threatened and intimidated to deliberately violate safety rules. Drivers were encouraged to keep two sets of driver logs, one containing false entries to show trucking officials and the other containing actual driving records.

The Delongs each have been ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and the company to pay a $40,000 fine. Earlier, former company dispatcher William Rooney was sentenced to six months in prison for the same offenses. The company has been taken over and renamed Ontelaunee Transport Services Inc.

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