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Truck Owner Calls DEA’s Bluff with GPS Tracker

truck owner calls DEA's bluff

How a GPS Tracking System Helped a Fleet Owner Defend His Business

2/15/2016 by Caroline Ailanthus

Truck owner, Craig Patty, got some bad news recently when a Federal court ruled that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does not have to pay for damages to his truck. According to court documents, Patty’s employee, Lawrence Chapa, was working as a confidential informant for the DEA and agreed to drive one of Patty’s trucks in a drug sting—without Patty’s consent or knowledge. The sting went horribly wrong and Chapa was killed. The truck was also badly damaged. From the beginning, Patty had difficulty deciphering what had happened and the DEA tried various routes to cover their botched operation, and even treated Patty as a suspected trafficker.

But Patty was able to call their bluff with some help from his GPS Tracking system. When law enforcement was interrogating him, they accused him of having sent his truck to Mexico for a load of contraband. Unbeknownst to the officers, Patty’s truck had been fitted with a GPS tracker and he was able to use the tracking data to prove the truck never crossed the border, thus confirming the law enforcement official’s false claim.

It may be small comfort, but Patty seems proud to have been able to, as he tells the story, call the officer’s bluff.

Craig Patty is not alone in relying on GPS fleet management software to track his vehicles in order to tell him what his vehicles didn’t do. Commercial vehicle operators of all kinds, from long-haul truck drivers to repair crews working out of vans, occasionally find themselves falsely accused—of being late to a job site, or speeding, or of being at fault in a traffic accident. Owners can then use the tracking data to fight for their driver’s honor and resolve the dispute unambiguously. That’s an important form of security for drivers, and keeping drivers happy is critically important in the extremely tight job market the trucking industry now faces. Being able to weed out false accusations also substantially reduces a carrier’s exposure to liability, legal issues, and even helps garner discounts on insurance rates.

A company can take certain steps to make sure its drivers are safe, competent, and law-abiding, but of course they cannot control the actions of others. With the library of data offered through a GPS fleet tracking platform, fleet managers can challenge false claims from outside entities and defend their employees.

The legal process for Patty’s complaint is still ongoing. The case has moved to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

To learn more about GPS tracking systems... Get a Free Live Demo Now!

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