Ramblings & ephemera

Cloned trucks used to commit crimes

From Brian Ross’ “Fake FedEx Trucks; When the Drugs Absolutely Have to Get There” (ABC News: 18 January 2008):

Savvy criminals are using some of the country’s most credible logos, including FedEx, Wal-Mart, DirecTV and the U.S. Border Patrol, to create fake trucks to smuggle drugs, money and illegal aliens across the border, according to a report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Termed “cloned” vehicles, the report also warns that terrorists could use the same fake trucks to gain access to secure areas with hidden weapons.

The report says criminals have been able to easily obtain the necessary vinyl logo markings and signs for $6,000 or less. Authorities say “cosmetically cloned commercial vehicles are not illegal.”

In another case, a truck painted with DirecTV and other markings was pulled over in a routine traffic stop in Mississippi and discovered to be carrying 786 pounds of cocaine.

Police said they became suspicious because the truck carried the markings or DirecTV and several of its rivals. An 800 number on the truck’s rear to report bad driving referred callers to an adult sex chat line.

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