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Florida D.O.T. illegally detains
millions of motorists, builds database
Millions of motorists snagged by mysterious toll-booth stops
'What are they doing with that information? Not prosecuting counterfeiters'
By Drew Zahn
World Net Daily
The Florida man who uncovered a government scheme to extract personal information from motorists at toll booths has also discovered the state is not using the information for the reason it claims.
As WND reported, Joel Chandler noticed that Florida toll workers were detaining – he says illegally – motorists who paid tolls with $20, $50 and $100 bills until they divulged personal information that was then logged in a state database.
Chandler, who tested multiple toll booths with larger bills and filmed the encounters, told WND that the information collected on the “Bill Detection Reports” was inconsistent: sometimes – but not always – including the make and model of vehicle, the driver’s name, sex, race, address, phone number, physical description and driver’s license number.
Through public records requests, Chandler also found a spreadsheet logging the data collected in the reports.
But why is the Florida Department of Transportation gathering the information?
Was it to help catch counterfeiters trying to pass off illegal bills, as Florida DOT internal e-mails suggest? Apparently not.
Chandler’s public records request on the motorist detentions revealed yet another record being kept on counterfeit bills, for which he also filed a public records request.
“What we got back was an Excel spreadsheet with 885 claims of receiving counterfeit money. The data showed the DOT had received $16,000 in counterfeit bills,” Chandler told WND. “And the form was very specific, outlining who it was that passed counterfeit bills.
“And how many of those were referred to law enforcement?” he posited. “I made a public records request for referrals to law enforcement agencies of any description. Nothing came up. I went to law agencies themselves and asked if the Florida DOT had referred counterfeiters from toll booths. ‘No, never,’ they said. ‘Not one time in history of state?’ I asked. ‘No, never.’”
WND asked Chandler if he meant to say that the Florida DOT had a record of an alleged counterfeit bill in one hand and the name and driver’s license number of person who used it to pay a toll in the other … and then did nothing?
“Yes,” Chandler said. “Which raises the question: Why are they doing this?
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