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NJ Roots Out Phony IDs Using Facial Recognition Software

Authorities in Jersey are using a new facial recognition software program to help crack down on people who are committing fraud by using driver’s licenses with fake names.

State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa says so far, 38 people have been arrested and charged in Operation Facial Scrub, including, “five sex offenders, and 29 individuals who obtained fraudulent licenses after their real licenses had been suspended.”

He says “of the defendants with suspended licenses, 22 had been charged with DUI offenses, including 11 who had 3 or more DUI offenses…8 of the cases involve the use of false identities to obtain commercial drivers licenses to drive trucks or commercial buses.

Those charged include:

  • Rickie Storie, 58, of Old Bridge, who 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.
  • Raymond Pompey, 50, of Hackensack, who 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.
  • Anthony E. Smith, 53, of Camden, who is a registered sex offender 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.

Chiesa adds the software is being used to “scrub” the Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s entire 19 million photo record database, and many more arrests are expected.

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