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Port Authority Police Bust Pair At GWB For $6,000 E-ZPass Debt

Jean Lafortune Jr., Francisco D. Reyes-Rodriguez Photo Credit: COURTESY: Port Authority PD
One of the Freightliners Photo Credit: COURTESY: Port Authority PD
Plastic license plate Photo Credit: COURTESY: Port Authority PD

FORT LEE, N.J. -- A pair of tractor-trailers that had the same license plate and vehicle identification number accounted for $6,000 in unpaid E-ZPass tolls, said Port Authority police, who arrested a driver and the owner.

Jean Lafortune Jr., 36, of Lake Worth, Florida, "admitted to removing the VIN from both vehicles to avoid the registration, insurance and EZ Pass surcharges," the authority's Joseph Pentangelo said Thursday morning.

The driver, 37-year-old Francisco D. Reyes-Rodriguez of New London, CT, gave bogus paperwork to officers who stopped the first rig, a red Freightliner, at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Pentangelo said.

Sgt. Michael Barry arrived soon after and found that the front license plate was made of plastic -- as was the VIN plate on the driver's side door, he said.

Police summoned Lafortune, who Pentangelo said was driving a 2004 Freightliner that had the original license plate and VIN number.

He, too, was arrested and both vehicles were impounded.

Both men were charged with theft of services.

Lafortune also was charged with forgery, having counterfeit plates and a forged insurance card and driving an uninsured vehicle. He also received several traffic summonses.

Reyes-Rodriguez- also was charged with toll evasion and having a bogus license plate, as well as traffic violations.

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