A sting operation coordinated by the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Better Business Bureau to investigate moving companies actually also caught a fugitive, a pot smoker, and a sex offender.
Oregon has been making efforts to investigate unlicensed moving companies for some time. According to KOIN 6 News, the state has issued 90 citations since 2009. This particular sting asked nine local moving companies to help someone move out of a home on Southeast Salmon Street in Portland.
In Oregon, moving companies are required to be registered with the state, but many of them aren’t. KATU News reports that in the case of this sting, five of the companies were unlicensed. The Oregon Department of Transportation also checked that the mover’s vehicle was properly registered and that all of the vehicles were safe.
In addition to the fact that the companies were unlicensed, all of them were found to have other violations.
An employee of one moving company, Portland Movers Ready, showed up to the sting operation minutes after having smoked marijuana. The employee, Jeff Rackley, said that he was embarrassed and that he didn’t think that homeowners would want someone who was under the influence of drugs in their home.
Authorities ran a background check on the passenger of the truck Rackley was driving, Ruben Rael, and discovered that he was a registered sex offender. According to officials, if a person has a felony or certain misdemeanor charges in the last five years, he or she cannot work as a mover.
The fugitive who was discovered worked for a different moving company. Tyler William Gilbert had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was also found to be driving without a license.
About one in four Americans reported moving from the city or area where they lived in the last five years, and it’s essential to make sure that moving companies are legitimate and reputable before hiring.
“Any company or person offering transportation of household goods services must be certified by ODOT,” ODOT spokesperson Dave Thompson told KOIN 6 News. “Unscrupulous movers have been known to demand extra money, sometimes thousands of dollars, before unloading personal property and sometimes have disappeared altogether.”