ALBANY, N.Y. — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that an investigation by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) utilizing facial recognition technology has led to the arrests of two bus drivers in New York City accused of obtaining CDLs using aliases.
The two bus drivers, George Gregory Gonsalves (also known as Gregory Gonsalves) of Rosedale and Emel Enrique Marin (also known as Carlos Lopez) of Woodside, were charged with offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree and falsifying business records in the second degree. Gonsalves is employed by Community Transportation Systems and Marin by Little Linda Bus Company.
Each bus driver had a valid CDL in one name and a suspended CDL in another. The licenses contained a 19-A endorsement that would have also permitted them to be used by school bus drivers.
"Millions of New Yorkers use buses every year, and should be able to have confidence in the safety of the system," Cuomo said. "The DMV and other state agencies are coordinating efforts with local law enforcement and using the latest technology to make our roads and highways safer. I applaud them for their swift actions."
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown added, "The alleged failure of the defendants to be totally truthful with state authorities or their employers about the status of their driver's licenses compromised the transportation safety of their passengers, some of whom were children. In light of recent events, I want to thank Governor Cuomo and the state Department of Motor Vehicles for their swift action, which resulted in the arrest of the accused."
On March 12, a tour bus crashed in the Bronx, killing 15 passengers and injuring dozens more. Since then, New York State investigators determined that the driver, Ophadel Williams, allegedly provided false statements on his application for a driver's license to conceal the fact that he used multiple names and previously had his driving privileges suspended. An investigation into the matter is ongoing.
Last weekend, the state Department of Transportation began a large-scale checkpoint operation to inspect tour buses and driver records, resulting in dozens of buses and bus drivers being taken off the road.