Is your Uber Driver a Drug Dealer?
In my last post (Is your Uber Passenger a Drug Dealer or Buyer?), I wrote that I heard drivers that may have picked up a drug dealer or buyer and a reddit forum that has an account of himself (an Uber Driver) pulled over because he was driving around a drug dealer.
Now I am very grateful that Uber gives second chances to past criminals like me, but I wonder if they are too lenient in their background checks. I have a few friends who were drug dealers but now they drive Uber as a steadier form of income.
But recently, I came across an article of an Uber Driver who had drugs on him and was an active dealer.
Here are parts of that article:
Less than month since Uber launched its ride-share service in Tuscaloosa, police have charged one driver with possession of marijuana and issued several citations to other drivers for violating the city’s taxicab ordinance.
Tuscaloosa police charged an Uber driver last week with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police also issued the driver, Brandon Devante Oliver, 21, of Tuscaloosa, citations for driving on a suspended license, violation of the open beverage law, not having a tag light, operating a vehicle for hire without a business license, not having a chauffeur permit, and operating a vehicle for hire without proper insurance.
The arrest was part of an undercover operation by the Tuscaloosa Police Department, which released a statement earlier this month saying that, according to the city’s taxicab ordinance, “all drivers and companies that are involved in a taxi service or ride sharing program” must have a business license, a chauffeur license, a background check and vehicle inspection.
An undercover officer who used the Uber mobile app service rode with Oliver and said he smelled marijuana in the vehicle, according to a news release.
Officers later stopped the driver and said they found “a bottle of vodka that the driver had been mixing with a drink while driving and almost one-fourth pound of marijuana with baggies for distribution.”
The driver who attacked his passenger with a hammer was also a past drug dealer:
A driver with transportation firm Uber was charged Tuesday with striking a passenger in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, in a case that heightened the debate over the regulation of startups that have disrupted the taxi industry.
Daveea Whitmire, 28, of San Francisco punched his passenger in the hand and elbowed him in the chest after the two got into an argument in November, according to the district attorney’s office. The passenger didn’t think Whitmire was the driver assigned to his ride, prosecutors said, and took a photo of the license plate, prompting Whitmire to lash out.
Though Whitmire passed Uber’s background checks, court records show he has a criminal past, including convictions for felony drug dealing and misdemeanor battery.
Whitmire was convicted of a felony for selling marijuana in 2009 and a misdemeanor battery of a store clerk in 2012, as first reported by PandoDaily.
Earlier this year, he was charged with another misdemeanor battery, unrelated to Uber, for allegedly slamming a woman to the ground in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. He has pleaded not guilty.
If the above content didn’t scare you enough, maybe this last line should:
An Uber representative said in an e-mail Tuesday that the company would “defer to the criminal justice system to take matters from here.” Whitmire was let go from Uber last year, the representative said.
Whitmire was let go from Uber last year. So why was he driving on Uber? My guess is that he was using his friends account or paying his friend to use it to earn money on Uber as its good money, especially with his criminal record.
This will be the subject of my future post.