Police pulled over 37-year-old Francisco Reyes-Rodriguez last month after his Freightliner truck passed through an E-ZPass lane without paying the toll. Upon inspecting the truck, the responding officer discovered that it had a counterfeit license plate made out of plastic. The truck also had a fake vehicle identification number (VIN) plate in the driver’s side door and lacked an E-ZPass transponder. In addition, Reyes-Rodriguez was found to be carrying a fake insurance card.
The owner of the truck, 36-year-old Jean Lafortune, showed up to claim the Freightliner and was promptly arrested when he pulled up to the police station in a vehicle with the exact same license plate number and VIN as the first truck. Officers discovered that Lafortune had altered the VIN and forged the license plates to avoid paying insurance fees and toll charges.
Through their scheme, Reyes-Rodriguez and Lafortune managed to evade around $6,000 in E-ZPass tolls. Reyes-Rodriguez was charged with the use of a fraudulent license plate, theft of E-ZPass services, and toll evasion, along with various traffic violations. Lafortune was also charged with use of a fraudulent license plate and theft of E-ZPass services, as well as forgery of a VIN, use of a fraudulent insurance card, having an uninsured vehicle, and various traffic violations.
New York and New Jersey Port Authority Police closely monitor interstate highways and do not hesitate to punish drivers who break the law. While this is an extreme example that involves a number of serious criminal charges, it is also common for Port Authority Police to ticket drivers for everyday offenses like driving over the speed limit while traveling through E-ZPass toll booths.
It is essential that you retain an attorney if you have been ticketed for a traffic violation or charged with a driving-related crime. Adam H. Rosenblum of the Rosenblum Law Firm is an experienced criminal defense and traffic ticket attorney with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email him or call 888-203-2619 for a free consultation about your case.