FBI Probes Region 8 Truck Driving School

FEBRUARY 16, 2006 - Posted at 7:36 a.m. CST

WEST PLAINS, MO - The FBI is investigating an Ozarks trucking school where a high proportion of people with Middle Eastern-sounding names have taken license tests.

The South Central Career Center Truck Training Program is run by the West Plains public school district.  It offers commercial license testing for its own students and those who receive training elsewhere.

The school's director became concerned by a large number of nonstudents with apparently Middle Eastern names such as Ali and Yusuf coming in to take license tests.

West Plains school district superintendent Karla Eslinger says the director first contacted the Missouri Highway Patrol in 2003.  Eslinger and the FBI says agents executed a search warrant two weeks ago, taking hard drives and records of people who took the commercial driving license tests.

The population of West Plains is about 95 percent white.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)