A Texas man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from allegations of successfully bribing a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper to receive favorable Level 1 safety inspections, federal court documents reveal.
Orlinte Cruz, owner of Cruz and Sons Transportation and UGMA Logistics in Dallas, was indicted on Honest Services Wire Fraud on Nov. 16 and immediately entered a guilty plea.
According to court documents, from July 2014 to September 2015, Cruz and a DPS officer worked together in what the court described as “the concealment of material information to defraud and deprive the citizens of the state of Texas and DPS of their right to honest and faithful services” through bribery.
More specifically, Kevin Cauley, a Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement sergeant, accepted money from Cruz in exchange for favorable inspections. Cauley issued a CVSA decal indicating a passed inspection with no infraction or corrective action to be completed for six of Cruz’s vehicles on July 10, 2014.
Furthermore, Cauley indicated on three inspection reports that a colleague assisted him and that the inspections were roadside. The colleague never assisted with those inspections, and the inspections were conducted in the yard of Cruz and[ Sons.
In January 2015, Cauley and Cruz conspired to repeat the same scheme with 11 Level 1 inspections. This was also repeated in May, July and September in 2015, accounting for at least 22 Level 1 inspections. In total, court documents allege at least 39 Level 1 inspections were falsely conducted by Cauley.
Court documents show that Cruz paid Cauley at least $4,000 for the favorable inspections.
Cruz is scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 2, 2018.
Cauley was indicted on April 14 on similar charges and pleaded guilty in June. Sentencing is still pending.
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