Whether you’re for or against government facial recognition tracking programs, they’re here to stay. Despite the huge number of inaccuracies, once in a while the artificially intelligent machines strike pay dirt.
If using three names wasn’t bad enough, Gonzalo Montanez was driving a truck when he wasn’t even supposed to be driving a car.
Montanez used to run around Pennsylvania under the name Braulio DLeon. That is, when he wasn’t calling himself Alfonso Rodea. Whatever he chooses to call himself, DLeon had a terrible driving record.
In 2008, DLeon was busted for diving without a license and his privileges were suspended. It happened exactly the same way again in 2010. He pleaded guilty to the charge of driving without a license both times.
In 2013 he got a license to drive a passenger car under the Montanez name. After getting away with it for a few years, he upgraded to a commercial driver’s license in 2016. He was certain he had fooled the state into believing he had a clean driving record.
In 2017, he was detected by big brother. When he attempted to renew his license, the facial recognition software matched his two identities.
Montanez fought the penalties all the way up through the commonwealth’s appeal process, claiming his rights had been violated. He believed that he didn’t get “due process” because he should have been caught sooner.
As Judge Ellen Ceisler wrote in her final order:
“Essentially, (Montanez) argues that although he acted unlawfully and intentionally in deceiving (PennDOT) by using multiple fraudulent identities, (PennDOT) was at fault because his intended deception succeeded for several years.”
There was one really big problem with his defense though. It was totally meaningless and made up off the top of his head. “Not surprisingly, (Montanez) cites no authority whatsoever for this argument. We reject it as baseless and improper.”
He claimed he never got the notices. “The notices were mailed to the address Montanez gave for DLeon,” she quipped. She also pointed out that “he should have known he shouldn’t be driving since he pleaded guilty to driving without a license charges in the 2008 and 2010 cases.”
It was totally obvious, Ceisler wrote, that the defendant intentionally “adopted the Montanez identity to hide the fact that DLeon lacked a license to drive.”
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Local residents had some back and forth in the comments to PennLive’s story. “Somebody please check his tax records – under all three names. He’s a con man…lock him up,” Old_soldier writes.
Synical1 noted the Hispanic name and mentioned, “Sounds like another bad hombre that President Trump warned us about.”
Will is worried about the facial recognition technology. “I had no idea that PennDot was compiling a huge date base of faces gained from a basic drivers license picture or state id card. Are citizens being told that PennDot is collecting and using their images are being used in this manner? Who else is PennDot sharing this data base of images with?”
Peter_Puck answered back, “No one is being told, you can assume it is – when it comes to your drivers license picture and any other government issued ID pictures, you have no privacy.
This data base is shared with all government agencies, including NSA, FBI, …
Does this surprise you? Why?”
Old_soldier got the last word, for now. “Reply to @Will: Who cares – sounds like it works to catch criminals.”