In a press conference this week, Raymond Martinez, chief administrator of the MVC, explained how new facial recognition technology has helped weed out fraudulent or duplicate licenses. The project is called Operation Facial Scrub, and it began in December of 2011.
“It essentially breaks down the points on an individual’s face to a grid and its measurements,” said Martinez. “It measures the space between the eyes and the ears. It’s a scientific, proven technology.”
To date, more than 19 million identification photos have been analyzed. Martinez announced that 38 individuals are now facing criminal prosecution.
“Our first 38 criminal prosecutions in Operation Facial Scrub include truck and bus drivers who have no business being on our roadways and registered sex offenders who tried to hide their criminal pasts,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We will continue to work with the Motor Vehicle Commission and our law enforcement partners to detect and aggressively prosecute criminals who obtain licenses using false identities.”
In a press release from the State of New Jersey, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa and Motor Vehicle Commission Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez announced the results of Operation Facial Scrub’s findings.
“More than 600 potential criminal cases have been referred to the Attorney General, who announced a first wave of 38 criminal prosecution,” the press release states.
The identification of the first 38 defendants have been released.
The investigation revealed that truck driver Rickie Storie, 58, was able to use aliases to obtain fraudulent CDLs, despite having 64 license suspensions and six DUIs, by using three different names.
“If you have somebody who has six DUI convictions, they have to be driving under the influence a lot of the time. And for them to be able to continue to get driver’s licenses to operate vehicles by trying to scam the system, it creates a real safety issue for all of us,” State Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said.
Anthony E. Smith, 53, is a registered sex offender who had his license permanently suspended after receiving 5 DUI convictions. He obtained a fraudulent CDL and drove a tanker.
According to a press release:
Attorney General Chiesa today announced criminal charges against 38 people who fraudulently obtained additional driver’s licenses in false identities. The charges filed by the Division of Criminal Justice include the following defendants, each of whom was charged with use of personal identifying information of another (2nd degree), tampering with public records (3rd degree), and, in some cases, forgery (3rd degree):
- Rickie Storie, 58, of Old Bridge, allegedly used the false identities Edward J. Ford and Bruce A. Craig to obtain fraudulent commercial driver’s licenses to drive trucks, including tanker-trailers. His real and fraudulent licenses have been suspended 64 times, including six times for DUI convictions. He was indicted yesterday (Feb. 11).
- Raymond Pompey, 50, of Hackensack, allegedly obtained a license to drive a commercial bus in the name of a dead man, Edward Rivers, after his license was suspended six times for traffic infractions and failing to appear in court. He worked as a bus driver for Coach USA using the false name. He also has a felony record for identity theft, fraud and forgery. He was indicted yesterday (Feb. 11).
- Anthony E. Smith, 53, of Camden, is a registered sex offender who was sentenced to six years in prison in 1996 for exposing himself to two boys under the age of 13 in Camden County. He allegedly obtained a license to drive tanker-trucks in the name Anthony E. Raymondo after his license was permanently suspended due to five DUI convictions. Smith was arrested last year and charges are pending.
- Hiram Maldonado, 57, of Elizabeth, allegedly used the name Victor L. Santos to obtain a license to drive a truck after his real license was suspended. He had multiple suspensions related to three DUI convictions and additional arrests when he refused to submit to a breath test. He is also wanted on an active warrant out of Florida on a charge of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a minor. He was previously arrested for a parole violation in New York, at which time he was found to be in illegal possession of numerous guns. He was indicted on Nov. 30, 2012.
For a complete list of the 38 defendants, follow this link: www.njpublicsafety.com. The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.