Facial Recognition Technology Helps Identify Drivers Using False Identities
Albany, NY (August 18, 2011)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that a Department of Motor Vehicles investigation has led to the arrests of 51 commercial drivers, including bus drivers, for fraudulently obtaining multiple driver licenses using an alias.
The arrests were made as the result of the use of facial recognition technology which reviewed the records of 600,000 holders of New York State Commercial Driver Licenses (CDLs). In addition to the most recent arrests, more than 70 other CDL drivers were arrested based on the use of facial recognition technology earlier this year. Since February of 2010, 800 people have been arrested for having two or more licenses under different aliases.
The drivers who obtained their licenses fraudulently were each charged with Offering a False Instrument in the First Degree and Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree. Those with excessive unpaid tickets were also charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree.
"With some hi-tech help, the state can now quickly find drivers who think it's acceptable to use an alias to illegally get more than one license," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles as well as the local, state and federal agencies that teamed up on this case to help stop this fraud and keep our roads safe."
In addition to the DMV Division of Field Investigations the other agencies involved in the investigations and arrests were the New York City Police Department Document Fraud Squad, the New York State Division of State Police, U. S Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Social Security Administration, the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, and the U.S. Secret Service in cooperation with the offices of the District Attorneys in Queens, New York, Brooklyn, Nassau, Westchester and the Bronx.
Barbara J. Fiala, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and Chair of the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee said, "We know that the work of the DMV's Division of Field Investigations in identifying these commercial drivers who are a danger on our highways will bring great benefit to all New Yorkers. I congratulate the DFI staff for their work and thank all those who played an important role in getting these drivers off our roads."
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said, "Individuals who obtain multiple driver licenses misappropriate government benefits, or worse conceal violent criminal histories. I commend the NYPD's Document Fraud Squad, the DMV Division of Field Investigations, and State Police and federal investigators and our District Attorneys for their fine work."
State Police Superintendent Joseph A. D'Amico said, "Individuals who fraudulently obtain commercial driver's licenses represent a tremendous potential threat to public safety. These arrests are significant not just because of the apprehension of the individuals involved, but because they demonstrate the effectiveness of the measures being taken to ensure the integrity of New York's licensing system. The State Police and DMV will continue to work cooperatively to prevent unqualified or unsafe drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles on our roads and highways."
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said, "These arrests show the continuing commitment by Governor Cuomo, the Department of Motor Vehicles and law enforcement officials across the state to keeping our roads safe. Drivers who illegally obtain fraudulent licenses are in all likelihood trying to conceal something in their backgrounds that could put the safety of passengers and other drivers on the road at risk. It is imperative to protect our streets and highways from unsafe and criminal drivers."
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said, "Law abiding citizens deserve to be protected from those, often untrained drivers, using fraudulent documents to obtain licenses and causing accidents and creating dangerous conditions on our highways. Driving is a privilege and state licensing is a safeguard against criminals who would abuse it. I fully support Governor Cuomo's efforts to crack down on these abuses and will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law."
Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice said, "Whether they're hiding a lack of training or a dangerous driving record, those who use fraudulent commercial driver licenses are a threat to public safety when they're behind the wheel. I welcome this opportunity to partner with Governor Cuomo and the DMV to take these dangerous drivers off the road."
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said, "I commend both the Governor and Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles who are actively trying to protect the integrity and security of our State's transportation system through aggressive enforcement and the use of facial recognition technology. With the resurgence of people using Motor Coach travel, law enforcement has to redouble its efforts to combat the use of fake, fraudulent or suspended licenses, making sure that the operators are trained and well qualified, ensuring the public's safety."
Bronx District Attorney Robert T. Johnson said, "Any evasion which undermines the process of issuing driver licenses to those who operate motor vehicles, puts countless people at risk of serious injury or death. We welcome all efforts to uncover improperly licensed problem drivers who needlessly pose a threat to the safety and well-being of pedestrians and other motorists."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton said, "This investigation is the beginning of an important partnership between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. It will allow our agencies to combine resources to facilitate the arrest of criminals who endanger public safety by obtaining legitimate documents through fraudulent means."
Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Ryan, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations, Social Security Administration said, "This cooperative investigation with our law enforcement partners demonstrates the seriousness with which we respond to allegations of fraud, Social Security number misuse and identity theft against our agencies. SSA/OIG is not only committed to protecting Social Security funds but also the integrity of the SSN itself. The NYS DMV Facial Recognition Program is one pathway in the identification of individuals who by means of deceit, attempt to conceal their true identity and obtain a 'new' identity for unlawful purposes which can place the public at risk. We are pleased with the success of these efforts".
Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service New York Field Office, Brian G. Parr said, "The Secret Service believes that building trusted partnerships between all levels of law enforcement is a proven, successful model for combating criminal activity. Through this collaborative approach our New York and New Jersey Electronic Crimes Task Force is able to share our technical expertise and provide logistical support while continuing to augment our advanced detection and prevention efforts."
All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven otherwise in court.
The MTA employees arrested were:
- Kipkino A. Primus (aka Kipkino Stephens) West 33rd Street, Brooklyn
- Milton S. Richards (aka Milton Richards different DOB) 220th Place, Jamaica
- Shawzair Khan (aka Tyron Osca) 164th Street, Jamaica
- Ramon A. Acosta (aka Luis Nieves) Saratoga Avenue, Brooklyn
The other commercial drivers arrested were:
- Leroi M. Robinson (aka Lararn M. Robinson aka Emanuel K. Johnson ) Howard Avenue, Brooklyn
- Guei G. Michel (aka Traore Abou) Nicholas Avenue, Manhattan
- Mody S. Barrie (aka Ibrahima S. Barry aka Alpha M. Barry) 112th Street, Morningside
- Charles Webb (aka Felix M. Webb) 166th Street, Addisleigh Park
- John Lopez (aka John Santiago) Villa Avenue, Bronx
- Hashmat Shah (aka Naveed Shah) Beach Avenue, Copiague
- Vincent M. Hart (aka Vincent H. Tyson) Hunters Lane, New Cassel currently works for Independent Coach Corp.
- Frank Romanek (aka Frank Romanek different DOB) Beck Street, Mitchell Field
- Abel F. Louis (aka Louini Louis) Avenue D, Brooklyn
- Ronel Pierre (aka Carol A. Morgan) East 34th Street, Brooklyn currently works for Empire Paratransit Corp
- Shola T. Johnson (aka Lee G. Edwards aka Kevin Starling) Austin Avenue, Amity Harbor
- Bernard Cradle (aka Rodman Cradle) Alabama Avenue, Brooklyn
- Jean U. Paris (aka Ulrick Joseph) Kinkel Street, New Cassel
- Zhen Shui Zheng (aka Swai Zhen Ming) Madison Street, Knickerbocker, Manhattan
- Franck Baptiste (aka Patrick Rowe) 118th Avenue, Addisleigh Park
- Sajid M. Choudhry (aka Sajid Mohmood) 164th Street, Jamaica
- Talik T. Bey (aka Lionel D. Lewis) Hurlbut Street, Albany
- Pierre R. Cesar (aka Pierre Malcolm) Brookside Avenue, Babylon
- Saulon Eduardo Montoyta (aka Felipe E. Montoya) Leonard Boulevard, New Hyde Park
- Maximo F. Yaguana (aka Manuel Salmas) 128th Street, College Point
- Nicky C. Ogedegbe (aka Charles Ogedegbe) 145th Avenue, Jamaica
- Ahmadou Tambadou (aka Ahmadou Tambadou different DOB) 57th Avenue, Corona
- Roland Jeanty (aka Rolando Jeantyle) Brookhaven Avenue, Far Rockaway
- Shabaz Muhammad (aka Muhammad Shahbaz) 188th Street, Flushing
- Hennessy Verlus (aka Jean Beauvais) Tremper Avenue, Eddyville
- Amgad B. Hammad (aka Amgad B. Ibrahim aka Amgad A. Hammad) Vleigh Place, Flushing
- Ahmeh M. Ali (aka Ahmed S. Mohamed) Skillman Avenue, Flushing
- Jun-Shu Lee (aka Joon Soo Lee) 41st Street, Astoria
- Garry V. Bernadeau (aka Amos Alce) 152nd Street, Addisleigh Park
- Muhammad Tariq (aka Tariq Hussain) Newkirk Avenue, Brooklyn
- Satwant Singh (aka Nick Singh) 120th Street, Jamaica
- Milton C. Urena (aka Milton S. Urena) 93rd Street, Flushing
- Aston H. Whilby (aka Vincent Whilby) Remsen Avenue, Brooklyn
- Tara Chand (aka Raj Kumar Verma) Broadway, Elmhurst
- Wesley Robinson (aka Jovell K. Sayles) 217th Street, Bellerose Manor
- Adama Doumbia (aka Souleymane A. Doumbia) Boston Road, Bronx
- Valery Duvert (aka Eliassaint Deshomme) Montgomery Street, Brooklyn
- Ramon S. Delmonte (aka Felix R. Ortiz) Creston Avenue, Bronx currently works for TLC Transportation Corp of Westchester
- Orlando Bonilla (aka Diordy Camilo) Calhoun Avenue, Bronx
- John M. Concepcion (aka Juan M. Mosca) Belmont Avenue, Long Island
- Errol G. Robinson (aka Christian M. Mardiant) 230th Street, Jamaica
- Ralph Codio (aka Ralph Godio) East Melrose Street, North Valley Stream
- Michelet Louis-Jean (aka Mikhael Benyssashkar) 229th Street, Jamaica
- Roswald Jean-Jacques (aka Ronald Jean-Jacques) 193rd Street, Hollis
- Milan R. Parik (aka Milan Hunter) 56th Road, Flushing
- Abel A. Tavares (aka Abel Taveras different DOB) Van Nest Avenue, Bronx
- David Larry (aka Lawrence Lipkin) Carney Street, Glen Cove