A South Carolina truck driver on Long Island to haul cars damaged by Superstorm Sandy was arraigned Friday on weapons charges after police found an illegal handgun in his truck, according to a Suffolk County police news release.
Police said Freddie Foggie Jr., 40, of Boiling Springs, was driving a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck along the Long Island Expressway near Exit 58 around 5:50 p.m. on Thursday. A passing police officer “noticed visible equipment violations” and initiated a traffic stop near the Park and Ride facility in Islandia to conduct a safety inspection, cops said.
During an inspection of the vehicle, the officer “noticed a 9mm gun with a loaded high capacity magazine” inside the pickup truck. Foggie was then taken into custody, while his vehicle was towed and “placed out of service due to safety defects.”
Police said the truck is owned by JK Trucking and Auto Sales in Mississippi and was transporting vehicles damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy from Calverton to Detroit. Representatives of JK Trucking and Auto Sales could not be reached at a phone number listed with the US Department of Transportation.
Federal records show Foggie has been involved in at least one fatal accident while hauling cars. In July 2012, Foggie was arrested in North Carolina after two cars being hauled on his trailer came loose, striking a vehicle behind him and killing the driver. A report published in the Charolette Observer noted that Foggie was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. The outcome of that case was not immediately clear.
Foggie, who police said was driving with a suspended license, was charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was also issued nine summonses for multiple safety violations, said police. Foggie was arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip and is currently being held in lieu of $10,500 bail. He is due back in court on March 6.
Update [March 4, 2012]: In an emailed statement, John Romans, the owner of JK Trucking and Auto, said the company immediately gathered Foggie's personnel records after learning of the incident. Noting that Foggie is an independent contractor, who has a lease agreement with JK Trucking and Auto, Romans said that the company's records do not list the vehicle that Foggie was driving as one authorized on the lease agreement. “Apparently Mr. Foggie is illegally running our DOT & MC #'s on multiple trucks,” Romans said.
Romans said that Foggie had passed a background check and motor vehicle records check, when his employment with the company began, but there was no 'Junior' listed on the application. “His driver’s license was current in Dec of 2012 also, so some very drastic changes have occurred in his [motor vehicle record] recently or [he] is using his father’s name we assume,” Romans said.
According to Romans, Foggie did not have permission to list the company's federal Department of Transportation identification number on the vehicle he was operating, noting that the vehicle, a 1997 Chevrolet pickup truck, was never inspected by the company's certified mechanics or insured under their policy. Police previously noted that the vehicle did not have valid insurance at the time of Foggie's arrest.
Romans said he is in the process of traveling to Medford, where he will regain possession of the damaged vehicles that Foggie was initially transporting before his arrest. He said that the company will regain possession of the trailer, but will leave the pickup truck at the yard because that vehicle has no affiliation with JK Trucking and Auto.
Records show that Foggie remains in custody and has not posted $10,500 bail. He is due back in court on Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.