Twenty-two of Nassau County’s most blatant DWI probation violators are back in police custody after a two-week long sting-operation.
The sting is the largest thus far in Nassau since New York State passed a law in 2010 requiring interlock breathalyzers be installed in the vehicles of those convicted of a DWI offense.
“We wanted to coincide with the year anniversary of the law being enacted,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a joint press conference Monday with County Executive Ed Mangano at the in Mineola. “We chose the worst of the worst.”
The arrestees chosen were on probation and mandated by the court to be under supervision and have interlock devices installed in their vehicles. While those on probation typically must forfeit their license, some are allowed to maintain their license and vehicle on the condition that they install the device.
“The utter gall and brazenness in which they were driving around... to walk out of the meeting with their probation officer and get into a car and drive away,” Rice said. “These are people that think that they can just keep driving when the law says that they can’t be.”
The following defendants were also charged with operating a motor vehicle without a court-ordered interlock and driving with suspended license:
- James Lynch, 27, of Baldwin
- Jason Aragon, 30, of East Rockaway
- Darrell Hampton, 35, of Freeport
- Kenneth Hock, 47, of Rockville Centre
- Daniel Dillon, 26, of Baldwin
- Christopher Demir, 22, of Bethpage
- Maria Kinalis, 23, of Bethpage
- Farhan Khan, 22, of Franklin Square
- Jose Bermudez, 32, of Hempstead
- Steven Jones, 36, of Elmont
- Patrick Roberts, 41, of Uniondale
- Bryan Negrete, 20, of Freeport
- Peter Siciliano, 50, of Plainview
- Fred Beale 56, of Elmont
- John Mollo, 32, of Franklin Square
- Kevin Mack, 38, of Freeport
- Christopher Ramos, 42, of Glen Head
- Mitchell Bogdanov, 24, of Bayside
- Brian Pymm, 26, of Kings Point
- Christine Colasanto, 28, of Valley Stream
Two more defendants, Silvana Miranda, 37, of Brooklyn, and William Mauz, 32, of Bethpage, were arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license.
The subjects were reportedly driving their vehicles and parking them at nearby garages, including the one at , and then walking to meetings with their probation officers. They then told the officers that they did not have a car and did not drive. After the meeting officers followed the individuals back to their cars.
“Don’t compound your crime by committing another crime,” Mangano said. “If you’re not driving, you don’t say you’re going to drive a car then you don’t have to install an interlock device.”
In the 12 months since the law was passed 1,717 people have been arrested for not installing the breathalyzer device.
“How can you object to a device that keeps drunk drivers from starting their cars?” Rice asked.
Franklin Square resident Marge Lee was the victim of a crash involving a drunk driver in 1990.
“These are my impositions,” she said, gesturing to a nearby wheelchair and cane she uses to walk short distances. “They were imposed on my by a drunk driver. Anyone who feels sorry for drunk drivers because the poor drunk driver had to have an interlock device installed in their car then I say to you our sympathies are misplaced.”
Rice said that the county is conducting an ongoing investigation to determine how many of those on probation for DWI are still operating motor vehicles. Each month the county goes through vehicle registrations to see if any of those on probation has registered a car.
“The message here is that we are watching you,” Mangano said.