Ex-driver’s license office worker sentenced for selling licenses to unqualified drivers

Published 2:58 pm Thursday, October 3, 2019

A Newton County, Mississippi, woman has been sentenced to two years in prison for selling commercial driver’s licenses to people who hadn’t passed the required tests.

Tonya Levera Davis, 49, was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves to serve two years in federal prison, followed by one year of supervised release, for aggravated identity theft and making false statements, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Regional Special Agent in Charge Todd Damiani with the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General.

Davis was employed by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Newton Department of Motor Vehicles, as a driver’s license examiner. Her employment included the administration of driver’s license applications, both written and computer tests, as well as the administration of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) testing. Davis was an authorized tester of the written skills portion of the CDL test, but not for the road skills portion.

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From June 2016 through May 2018, Davis authorized CDLs to applicants that had not passed the written or road skills portions of the test. She sold CDLs to over 88 unqualified applicants by providing answers to the written skills test. She would further pass the unqualified applicant and use state issued identification numbers of other third party testers to pass unqualified applicants and issue fraudulent CDLs.

“The sentencing today of Tonya Levera Davis for aggravated identity theft and making false statements sends a strong message that such illegal actions will not be tolerated, particularly when these actions put the safety of the traveling public at significant risk,” said Todd A. Damiani, DOT-OIG Regional Special Agent-in-Charge. “Only qualified individuals should be able to obtain CDLs and we will continue working tirelessly with our Federal, State and local law enforcement and prosecutorial partners to keep unqualified applicants for CDLs off of the nation’s roads.”

The case was investigated by the United States Department of Transportation-Office of Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin Chalk.