Sting operation busts fraudulent CDL trainers in Florida

| 8/25/2005

Florida state officials are urging anyone who obtained a commercial drivers license through training with Jacksonville-based Truck Driver Placement to be retested.

The urging comes following a sting operation in which the owners of Truck Driver Placement – David Luck and Arthur Hammonds – were arrested and charged with unlawful issuance of a driver’s license and organized schemes to defraud.

Officials say as many as 1,200 drivers could unknowingly be driving around with fraudulent CDLs and may need to be retested. Most of those drivers should receive notices from the Highway Patrol.

The Jacksonville Times-Union reported that Luck and Hammonds submitted a lengthy road test to the state claiming that was the test their school administered to drivers.

However, undercover operatives working for the State Attorney’s office and the Highway Patrol found that the test was little more than a drive around the block.

Assistant state attorney Steve Siegel told The Times-Union one investigator even failed the test and was still issued a certificate by the company.

This isn’t the first time Florida has faced problems with fake CDLs. Earlier this year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement busted 56 people on charges of illegally obtaining CDLs, hazmat certifications and access to South Florida ports.

Those arrests resulted from a five-month investigation that has implicated a number of driver’s license examiners, as well as illegal immigrants using the service to cross into the United States .