FBI investigates Missouri trucking school

| 2/16/2006

The FBI has begun an investigation into a Missouri driver training school at the request of its director who noticed an unusual number of CDL test applicants with Mideastern names.

The South Central Career Center Truck Training Program, which is run by the West Plains public school district in Springfield, MO, is under investigation because a large number of people taking tests for commercial driver’s licenses at the school appeared to be Middle Eastern.

The Associated Press reported that Dean Proffitt, director of the program, contacted the state police in 2003 to report his suspicions. The AP reported that the FBI confirmed the investigation, but declined to offer further details.

The school was searched by FBI agents early this month. Kara Eslinger, the superintendent for the West Plains district, told The AP that agents seized computer hard drives as well as records of people who took CDL tests.

She said the people in question are those who come to take the CDL test at the school, but who have records showing they were trained elsewhere. The FBI is not looking at anyone who was trained at the school, Eslinger said.

Of the 520 people who had training elsewhere but took the CDL test at the school between May 2004 and December 2005, about 60 percent had names that could be of Middle Eastern origin, according to The AP.