Bronx Man Arrested for Toll Evasion Found with Loaded Gun, Linked to 2005 Murder

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Written By Lori Walker

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A crackdown on drivers who dodge tolls using fake license plates has led to the arrest of a career criminal in New York City. Pedro Bonilla, 43, from The Bronx, was caught with a loaded gun and is also being investigated for a murder in Brooklyn in 2005. Bonilla was stopped by police while riding a motorcycle on the Third Avenue Bridge. He tried to escape but crashed into a parked car and was arrested.

Bonilla, who has a criminal record for firearm and robbery offenses, was found with a loaded gun. He is also a suspect in a murder case from 2005 in Brooklyn, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Bonilla faces charges including assault, weapons possession, and resisting arrest.

The crackdown targeted drivers using fake license plates, known as “ghost plates,” to avoid paying tolls. Police seized 196 vehicles and made 50 arrests at checkpoints on seven bridges in the city over three days. The seized vehicles included luxury cars like Mercedes, Teslas, and BMWs, as well as vehicles with unique plates like “NAHHHH” and “#1 DAD.”

During the operation, police also recovered a car with stolen plates from a dealership in Virginia, leading to the arrest of a suspect wanted for vehicle theft in Virginia. The crackdown aims to tackle toll evasion and other vehicle-related offenses, with the recent operation uncovering $1.5 million in unpaid tolls and fees.

The NYPD and MTA have conducted 21 operations in 2024, resulting in over 1,200 vehicle seizures and nearly 10,000 summonses. The crackdown on ghost plates intensified last year, as they were linked to an increase in dangerous police pursuits in the city.

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