NEW YORK - Investigators arrested 46 commercial drivers in and around New York City during a crackdown on individuals who fraudulently obtained multiple driver licenses using an alias. The two-day operation was carried out by state and federal law enforcement agencies including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The arrests made Wednesday and Thursday are part of on an ongoing bus safety enforcement effort, which began March 17, and is spearheaded by New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. Most of those taken into custody were identified through the use of facial recognition technology employed by the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV).
"With New York's use of facial recognition technology, drivers who obtain multiple licenses under different names now have no place to hide," Governor Cuomo said. "With these new arrests and our continued enforcement actions, the message should be clear: we will not tolerate dangerous buses, drivers, or fraud in obtaining a license. Our state agencies will continue working with law enforcement partners to help ensure New Yorkers can have confidence in the public transportation system. I would like to thank our federal and local law enforcement partners as well as the participating District Attorneys for their professional and cooperative efforts in this endeavor."
"We are pleased to be part of this joint investigation that targeted individuals who put the public's safety at risk by fraudulently obtaining commercial driver licenses, which permitted them to drive tractor trailers, transport hazardous cargo or gain access to secure port and key transportation facilities," said ICE Director John Morton. "ICE is committed to assisting our law enforcement partners in identifying individuals who commit this kind of fraud and endanger the public in the process."
Among those arrested, several were listed as "active" bus drivers, including four who are employed by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Several of those arrested also had a high number of unanswered traffic tickets and others have open felony warrants, including deportation detainers from ICE. Also, 19 of those arrested have or had licenses to drive taxi cabs.
The names of those arrested, aliases used and New York hometowns are:
- Wilfredo Alicea, aka Wilfredo Gonzalez, Peekskill
- Miguel Rivera, aka Bernard Owens, Mount Vernon
- Charles Daniels, aka Charles Richardson, Middletown
- Maxime Leroy, aka Leroy Maxime, Baldwin
- Looknaught Basil, aka Looknaught Lakeram, Jamaica
- Sultan Pasha, aka Mohammad Din, Jamaica
- Robin Pierre-Fils, aka Robain Pierre, Brooklyn
- Isaac Reid, aka Delroy Johnson, Arverne
- Louisson Paul, aka Luckner Inois, Brooklyn
- Eddy Amilcar, aka John Merisier, Brooklyn
- Hector Aquino, aka Carlos Nazario, Brooklyn
- Benedick Louis, aka Benedick Gabriel, Westbury
- Ricardo Colon-Castro, aka Wellington Espinal, New Rochelle
- Osvaldo Cortes, aka Osvaldo Cortes, Brooklyn
- A Cortes-Mendez, aka Jesus Perez, Bronx
- Edwin Diaz, aka Edwin Diaz, Bronx
- Michael Donaldson, aka Michael Donaldson, Jamaica
- Eltayeb Elmosbah, aka Eltayeb Elmusbah, Brooklyn
- Wayne Evans, aka Wayne Bailey, Brooklyn
Â· Terrance Glasgow, aka Terrance Glasgow, Coram
- Bobby Huda, aka Shalim Ahmed, Brooklyn
- Shahumad Latif, aka Stanley Foster, White Plains
- Frederick Manzola, aka Freddo Manzola, Brooklyn
- Kevin McKie, aka Trevor Small, Memphis Ave, Floral Park
- Isis Moreno, aka Raul Mena, Beekman Avenue, Sleepy Hollow
- Vincent Moreno, aka Anthony Rojas, Brooklyn
- Jordan Oku, aka Jerry Oku, Corona
- Rosario Paul, aka Louis Rosario, Brooklyn
- Antonio Polanco, aka Ciriaco Polamco, Bronx
- Juan Ramierez, aka Juan Ramirez, Bronx
- Bruce Reid, aka Steven Archeval, Ozone Park
- Rafael Rodriguez, aka Rafael Vazquez, Bronx
- Issaka Saibou, aka Issaka Halirou, Bronx
- Rajinder Singh, aka Rajinder Singh, Floral Park
- Tajinder Singh, aka Tejinder Singh, Spring Valley
- Antonio Spencer, aka Solomon Johnson, Bronx
- Larry Stewart, aka Lawrence Stewart, Bronx
- Francisco Toribio, aka Tommy Figueroa, Walden
- James Williams, aka James Williams, St. Albans
- Erickson Zapata, aka Luis Ocasio, Bronx
- Loordelgado Blas, aka Blas Loor, New York City
- Glen Edmonds, aka Roger Joseph, Kew Gardens
- Chika Ihim, aka Elvis Ibeh, Far Rockaway
- Kevin Curry, aka Haraco Cox, Jamaica
- Kirk Oglive, aka Marlon Ogilivie, Hempstead
- Francisco Correa, aka Francisco Ciprian, Long Beach
The NYDMV has suspended the driving privileges of each defendant pending criminal prosecution. The drivers who obtained their license 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.
Since the beginning of the bus safety crackdown March 17, The New York State Department of Transportation has conducted 1,960 surprise roadside inspections, leading to 173 bus drivers and 143 buses being removed from the state's roadways. New York State Police (NYSP) has issued 197 tickets to bus drivers for moving violations during the same period.
On Saturday, March 12, a bus traveling from Connecticut carrying 32 passengers crashed on the Westchester county/Bronx border, killing 15 passengers. NYSP and the National Transportation Safety Board continue with the investigation. Only days later, on Monday, March 14, another bus traveling from New York City en route to Philadelphia crashed in New Jersey, killing the driver and a passenger.
The cases will be prosecuted by the district attorneys in Queens, Kings, Westchester, New York, Rockland Nassau and Bronx counties. All defendants are presume innocent unless and until proven otherwise in court.