April 18–A former Texas Department of Public Safety sergeant was sentenced Monday to 15 months in federal prison for accepting bribes from a Dallas trucking company in exchange for top-level inspection decals.
Kevin Gerard Cauley, 51, pleaded guilty in June 2017 to one count of honest services wire fraud. He will have to surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on June 19, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas said.
Cauley had been working as a highway patrol commercial vehicle enforcement sergeant assigned to a region that included Dallas County. Among his duties, he was responsible for performing safety inspections and providing Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Inspection decals, according to case information.
In July 2014, Orlinte Cruz, the owner of commercial trucking companies Cruz and Sons Transportation and UGMA Logistics, which operated in Dallas, approached Cauley about conducting safety meetings from one of his companies.
From then through September 2015, Cauley reported conducting 39 Level 1 inspections — the highest level — of Cruz and Sons Transportation vehicles, all of which got the decal.
Cruz paid Cauley at least $4,000 for favorable treatment, officials said.
The decals notify authorities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that a vehicle passed the Level 1 inspection, which lowers chances that the truck will receive safety violations, officials said.
Fewer violations also means higher safety ratings, which can reduce the insurance premiums for commercial vehicle companies, according to court documents.
Cruz has also pleaded guilty to his role and is awaiting sentencing.
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