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  1. #1
    Senior Member AlturaCt's Avatar
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    15 charged in driver’s license conspiracy

    A federal indictment says that Somalis and Bosnians were illegally licensed.

    By TONY RIZZO and DAN MARGOLIES
    The Kansas City Star

    Operators of truck driving schools in Kansas City and southern Missouri conspired to help more than 70 Somali and Bosnian nationals illegally obtain commercial licenses, federal prosecutors alleged Thursday.

    Many of those students went on to obtain certification to haul hazardous materials on the nation’s highways, authorities said in announcing the 62-count grand jury indictment. Fifteen defendants face charges of mail fraud, making a false writing and illegally causing identification documents to be produced.

    The indictment, which was returned by a grand jury in Springfield on Sept. 20 and unsealed Thursday, came after a two-year investigation. It started with a tip to the Missouri Highway Patrol about a high percentage of students at the southern Missouri school who were passing the driver’s test, officials said Thursday.

    Although the Heart of America Joint Terrorism Task Force handled the investigation, Bradley Schlozman, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, emphasized that the indictment did not allege that any of the defendants were involved in terrorism.

    “That having been said, I would think it obvious that commercial driver’s licenses are an extraordinarily powerful tool, and a potential weapon, in the hands of someone seeking to do large-scale harm,” Schlozman said at a news conference Thursday.

    Schlozman said the key defendants in the case showed a “flagrant and reckless disregard for our national security.”

    Although the indictment referred to dozens of test applicants by name, investigators think between 200 and 300 students got their licenses through the conspiracy.

    Of those, 150 to 200 later obtained certification to haul hazardous materials.

    “I’m not saying we stopped a terrorist act from occurring,” Debby Stafford, an FBI official, said at the news conference. “But this is a clear example of our preventive efforts and of what we do to make our territory safer.”

    Twelve of the 15 defendants were arrested and made their initial appearances Thursday. All of them posted bond. Three defendants remained at large Thursday afternoon.

    The defendants included Ernest A. “Mustafa” White, 49, of Kansas City, who owned the Muslim Brothers and Sisters trucking company in Kansas City, Kan., and Howard E. Schneider, 39, of Overland Park, owner of H.E. Schneider Trucking Co. and co-operator of Muslim Brothers, officials said.

    White could not be reached for comment. Schneider, reached at H.E. Schneider Trucking Co., denied the indictment’s allegations, although he said he knew White. He declined to elaborate, saying he wanted to retain an attorney first.

    Also charged were Dean P. Proffitt, 71, superintendent of the South Central Career Center Truck Driver Training School in West Plains, Mo., and Orbin Dale May, 63, a truck-driving tester from West Plains.

    White, who spent time in prison for second-degree robbery more than a decade ago, was also charged in the indictment with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

    Individuals seeking a commercial driver’s license are required to pass both a written test and a comprehensive two-hour driving proficiency test.

    White, however, provided answers to the written test to students he was training in exchange for money, according to the indictment.

    White then allegedly arranged with Proffitt to have Muslim Brothers and Sisters students take the driving test at the training facility in West Plains, which was a division of the West Plains R-7 School District. May was authorized by the state of Missouri to give the test as a “third-party tester,” according to the indictment.

    Students paid the defendants amounts “far in excess” of the state’s licensing fee — up to $2,000, officials alleged. They said White’s students were given abbreviated tests, had someone else take the tests for them or, in some cases, did not even travel to West Plains for the testing.

    May then allegedly submitted documents to the Missouri Department of Revenue falsely reporting that the students had successfully passed the test.

    “This fraud became quite lucrative for May and White,” Schlozman said Thursday.

    Proffitt allowed May to conduct testing on weekends — a violation of state law — and also assisted him in testing more than the four students per day allowed by the state, the indictment alleges.

    Schlozman said White gained a reputation among those who wanted to get a trucking license without having to take a test. Students traveled from such states as Minnesota, Ohio, New York, Maine, Tennessee and Texas to do business with White.

    After search warrants were served at the West Plains school in February, the state of Missouri required all of the license holders who had gone through the schools to re-test in order to maintain their licenses.

    Col. Jim Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri Highway Patrol, said that the case prompted the legislature to change the law, restricting third-party testers such as May.

    The investigation leading up to the indictment began in the fall of 2004, when a confidential informant “reported suspicious activity” at South Central Career Center, Keathley said. Another tip came from the Missouri Department of Revenue, which noted the school’s extraordinarily high pass rate of 99 percent, compared with a statewide average of 83 percent.

    After a search warrant was served in February, West Plains School District Superintendent Karla Eslinger said that Proffitt had contacted troopers in 2003 to report that a large number of people taking the test had names that sounded Middle Eastern in origin.

    Eslinger did not return phone calls Thursday afternoon.

    Information obtained by The Associated Press under Missouri’s open records law indicated that more than 300 of about 520 people who took the test at the school between May 2004 and December 2005 but did not train there had names that might be Middle Eastern in origin.

    FBI agent Mark Wagoner said White converted to Islam while in prison.

    “Many of the people he came in contact with were Somali nationals,” he said.

    Schlozman said that the awarding of licenses to individuals “from an area as dangerous as Somalia was a matter of particular concern to the community.”

    Prosecutors said the others who were indicted generally helped in the conspiracy by driving students to West Plains for testing or helping to arrange the fake tests.

    Those other defendants are:

    Hiram C. Oliver, 33, Raytown; Osman Abdullahi, 30, a Somali citizen living in San Diego; Elias Mohamed, 25, Ahmed Muhidin Sharif, 27, Abdulfatah Osman Farah, 24, Abdirizak Abdi Mohamed, age unknown, and Yusuf Kalmole, 34, all citizens of Somalia living in Kansas City; Abdiwahab Mohamud Mohamed, 37, a Somali citizen living in Minneapolis; Adil Majlovic, 19, and Mersud Kajtazovic, 31, both citizens of Bosnia living in Kansas City; and Samir Hasanovic, 22, of Arnold, Mo.

    Potential prison sentences for the charges range from a maximum of 20 years in some cases to a maximum of five years in others. Each count also carries potential fines of up to $250,000.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What about terrorism?

    Officials emphasized that the indictment did not allege that any of the defendants were involved in terrorism.

    But of those who got licenses through the scheme, up to 200 later were certified to haul hazardous materials.

    An FBI official cited the case as a “clear example of our preventive efforts.”

    http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascit ... 577977.htm
    [b]Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.
    - Arnold J. Toynbee

  2. #2
    MW
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    Hiram C. Oliver, 33, Raytown; Osman Abdullahi, 30, a Somali citizen living in San Diego; Elias Mohamed, 25, Ahmed Muhidin Sharif, 27, Abdulfatah Osman Farah, 24, Abdirizak Abdi Mohamed, age unknown, and Yusuf Kalmole, 34, all citizens of Somalia living in Kansas City; Abdiwahab Mohamud Mohamed, 37, a Somali citizen living in Minneapolis; Adil Majlovic, 19, and Mersud Kajtazovic, 31, both citizens of Bosnia living in Kansas City; and Samir Hasanovic, 22, of Arnold, Mo.
    Are these folks illegal immigrants? The story said they are citizens of Somali, not the United States and it makes no mention of them being in possession of a legal visa.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts athttps://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  3. #3
    Senior Member AlturaCt's Avatar
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    MW - In typical MSM fashion. They were very unclear on that point! That is why I posted here.
    [b]Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.
    - Arnold J. Toynbee

  4. #4
    Senior Member ruthiela's Avatar
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    A federal indictment says that Somalis and Bosnians were illegally licensed.
    Somalis and Bosnians illegally licensed?
    WHAT ABOUT ALL THE REST OF THE PEOPLE OVER HERE THAT ARE ILLEGALLY LICENSED? DON'T THEY COUNT?
    END OF AN ERA 1/20/2009

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