'Trucker Spy' guilty of attempted murder, avoids hard time

By Land Line staff | 7/29/2013

A Tennessee man who was convicted of three felony charges – including attempted murder – was given a suspended sentence on jail time and ordered to pay restitution to his victim.

Joseph John Volpe, 46, of Chickamauga – the self-styled “Trucker Spy” who is notorious for driving around the nation and videotaping truck drivers engaging in supposed unsafe driving – must pay a total of $17,500 to his victim, owner operator Bruce Johnston, of McDonald, Tenn..

According to a report from The Chattanoogan, a jury convicted Volpe of second-degree attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and reckless endangerment. The charges stemmed from a June 30, 2010, road rage confrontation with Johnston in the vicinity of the Ridge Cut, a stretch of Interstate 24 on Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga.

The report states that Volpe was at the top of the Ridge Cut in his vehicle filming truckers allegedly violating driving laws when the run-in happened. Volpe slowed down, filming another truck, when Johnston came up behind him in his truck. A Hamilton County District Attorney is cited as saying there was an issue between the two over Volpe not driving fast enough.

A short time later, near Fourth Avenue, Volpe came up behind the Johnston truck and the trucker tapped on his brakes, it was stated. Volpe then fired a shot into the truck that hit the driver's head rest, coming close to striking him.

Hamilton County criminal court records indicate that Volpe was sentenced to 10 years on the attempted murder charge, three years on the aggravated assault charge, and one year on the reckless endangerment charge.

However, the sentences are suspended, giving Volpe the opportunity to avoid jail time provided he complies with the terms of his sentencing agreement. Those terms include a sentence of less than one year in a Tennessee state work house and monthly restitution of payments of $250.

Attempts to reach the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office were unsuccessful.

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