Former Texas DPS officer sentenced to imprisonment for inspection bribes
April 25, 2018
A former Texas state trooper was sentenced at a Dallas district court for his role in accepting bribes for favorable Level 1 safety inspections, federal court documents reveal. A trucking company owner who offered the bribe is awaiting sentencing.
According to court documents, from July 2014 to September 2015, Orlinte Cruz, owner of Cruz and Sons Transportation and UGMA Logistics in Dallas, bribed a Texas Department of Public Safety officer. The two 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.
Kevin Gerard Cauley, 50, of Royse City, Texas, a Texas 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.
Cauley accepted at least $20,000 in bribes for inspection decals he issued to more than three dozen trucks, according to court records. Federal authorities charged him with honest services wire fraud in April 2017.
Court documents show that Cruz paid Cauley at least $4,000 for the favorable inspections.
On April 17, Cauley was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at a facility in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Cauley will also be on supervised release for one year. Court records do not reveal any monetary penalty outside the standard $100 special assessment fee.
Cruz pleaded guilty in November. His sentence hearing is scheduled for July 12.