State troopers seized five Freightliner trucks Friday that belong to a North Kingston, Rhode Island, hauling company that has failed to pay about $75,000 in Maine Turnpike tolls, officials said.

Commodity Haulers Express, which operates a fleet of about 20 trucks, has failed to pay tolls along the turnpike for about three years, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in a statement. The company also is facing felony theft of services charges, McCausland said.

A sticker on one of five trucks seized Friday by state police. The trucks owned and operated by Commodity Haulers Express of North Kingston, Rhode Island, were impounded at a lot in Cumberland. Staff photo by Ben McCanna

Troopers with the commercial vehicle enforcement unit seized five of the 12 vehicles that were involved in driving through toll booths without paying. One truck was stopped southbound in York, and the other four were stopped on Rt. 122 in Poland.

The trucking company hauls Poland Spring water, although police said the water bottling company was unaware of the unpaid tolls.

The five trucks seized Friday account for about $42,000 of the unpaid toll bills.

In addition to the felony charges and seizures, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles has suspended the right of the company’s trucks to operate in Maine, state police said. The seized trucks are being held at a business in Cumberland until the outstanding tolls are paid.

The Turnpike Authority notified Commodity Haulers Express multiple times about the unpaid tolls, state police said.

“This was an egregious amount of money owed for tolls, it is well beyond what we normally see from a toll violator,” Turnpike Authority spokeswoman Erin Courtney said.

The last significant toll violation was last year, when state police arrested a Turner trucker alleged to have used other people’s license plates to avoid $1,300 in Maine tolls.

Violators are notified if they skip three tolls within a six-month period, Courtney said. The penalty starts with a bill for the total unpaid amount, then up to $70 in fees for further non-compliance. If a violator still doesn’t pay, the Turnpike Authority can have their vehicle registration suspended.

Maine has a reciprocity agreement with Massachusetts and New Hampshire that prevents violators from those states from re-registering their vehicles, Courtney added. It does not have the same arrangement with Rhode Island, making enforcement in this case difficult.

“Where this was an out-of-state company with multiple vehicles, it was harder to track them down and get the money,” she said.

Commodity Haulers Express was incorporated in Rhode Island in 2005. At that time, the president was listed as Robert P. Izzi, and the vice president was Paul E. Izzi, according to documents filed with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

Robert P. Izzi was still listed as the president as of January 2019. Messages left Friday for Paul and Robert Izzi were not returned.

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: