A New Jersey truck driver and the truck owner are facing several charges after the New Jersey Port Authority caught the man with expired registration and hundreds of E-ZPass violations, according to Port Authority spokesman Joseph Pentangelo.
On Friday, Aug. 4, Roger Lewis, 49, of Jersey City attempted to pass through an E-ZPass lane in a black Volvo truck with an empty trailer at the George Washington Bridge. Law enforcement stopped Lewis after a sign revealed he did not pay the toll.
During the stop, law enforcement discovered many crimes being committed by the driver. To start, the E-ZPass transponder was not registered to the truck Lewis was driving. In fact, it was assigned to a Class 1 vehicle, not the Class 5 vehicle he was driving.
That wasn’t the only transponder Lewis had in the truck. Lewis then produced another transponder. However, that transponder had no serial number. Upon searching the vehicle, law enforcement discovered seven more defaced transponders, Pentangelo told Land Line.
The plate on the tractor was an expired Pennsylvania tag that did not belong to the truck. Additionally, the plate at the back of the trailer was completely fictitious. Pentangelo said fake license plates are often used to skirt E-ZPass fee since they are more difficult to track down.
Law enforcement had recognized Lewis from a previous arrest. According to Pentangelo, Lewis was arrested in January for E-ZPass violations.
Once Lewis was arrested, the owner of the truck went to the Port Authority police station to pick up the truck. Ganiyu Odubanku, 49, of Arden, N.C., was immediately arrested when arriving at police headquarters for theft of services after Lewis told authorities it was the owner who provided the transponders. Odubanku also was arrested for an outstanding warrant regarding bail jumping. Lewis was charged with theft of service, tampering with public records, driving an unregistered vehicle and fictitious plates.
Investigations revealed that the E-ZPass transponders found had 398 outstanding violations that totaled nearly $30,000 in tolls and fees.
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