JEFFERSON — A Jefferson-based trucking company has been shutdown by the federal government because it was deemed "an imminent hazard to public safety."
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this week that Garfield Trucking, LLC, 4810 Route 46 South, Jefferson, has been ordered to "immediately cease all intrastate and interstate operations."
Garfield Trucking has been operating in violation of two separate out-of-service orders, one of which dated back to October 2014, according to a release from FMCSA.
Safety investigators visited Garfield Trucking Oct. 13 to conduct an unscheduled compliance review. An “out-of-business” announcement was placed at the location, according to the release.
Investigators left and sent by express mail copies of a "demand for access letter" and a subpoena for documents. Garfield Trucking has not provided FMCSA investigators with access to the subpoenaed documents.
"Due to the denial of access, Garfield Trucking has been unwilling to produce proof to FMCSA that the company has a safety program. Garfield Trucking’s refusal to allow FMCSA access, its continued operation despite two out-of-service orders, its continued use of unsafe vehicles, and its failure to comply with hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving substantially increase the likelihood of serious harm to drivers, passengers and the motoring public," according to a release.
Phone numbers listed for both Garfield Trucking and its owner James Lautanen were out of service.
Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order and operating without operating authority can result in civil penalties up to $60,000 as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.