In the last two months, the New York City Sheriff’s Office has seized 238 vehicles with fake license plates and other illegal characteristics in what it is calling Operation CON-Temporary.
Deputies and their technological tools came to Queens between midnight and 8 a.m. on Sept. 3. A total of 53 vehicles were seized, according to a press release issued Friday by the office of Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village), who had requested that the Sheriff’s Office come to the 104th Precinct. Authorities also wrote more than 50 summonses for traffic and parking offenses.
Holden’s office said the majority of the operation took place in Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside. Deputies also worked with officers in the 112th Precinct to deal with tractor trailers along the Horace Harding Expressway in Rego Park.
Deputy sheriffs used license plate reader technology and physical patrols to identify vehicles displaying illegal and counterfeit paper license plates.
“I thank the Sheriff, his deputies and all the law enforcement agencies involved in this operation for a job well done and look forward to working with them on more operations like this one,” Holden said in a statement. “I requested this enforcement because fake and obscured plates are used to allow scofflaws to get away with reckless, dangerous driving, as well as to commit other crimes. We need to make it clear that anyone who uses them will pay the price and I will continue to ask for more of these operations.”
The 112th Precinct, on its Twitter feed, also gave Sheriff Joseph Fucito’s deputies a shout-out.
“We’d like to thank the @NYSHERIFF for their assistance in removing these illegally parked tractor trailers from Horace Harding Expressway between 99 St. & 102 St.”
Sheriff Joseph Fucito, in Holden’s release, said even after vehicles are seized, his deputies are just getting started.
“Vehicles with illegal paper license plates circumvent a panoply of public safety laws and regulatory programs such as speed, red light, and bus lane cameras,” he said. “Illegal paper plates conceal a vehicle owner’s true identification from the police when used during the commission of a crime. The Sheriff’s Office will continue to conduct operations that utilize criminal and civil enforcement remedies to compel obedience to the law.”
The operation was conducted with the technical support and cooperation of the New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, Pennsylvania State Police, New York/New Jersey High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, South Texas HIDTA and San Antonio Police Department.
Deputies will investigate the ownership of the 53 vehicles. Owners will be held accountable for any outstanding judgments for unpaid speed, camera and parking violations summonses and will face the appropriate criminal and civil charges for their actions.
Over the past two months, deputy sheriffs also have issued 200 traffic summonses, and charged 16 individuals with various crimes related to illegal and counterfeit paper license plates on public streets.