Airport Security Supervisor Arrested For Using Dead Man's Identity

For two decades, this man lived and worked as Jerry Thomas.

The only problem -- Jerry Thomas is dead...and has been since 1992 according to Port Authority officials.

This man's real name -- according to police -- is Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole.

The 54-year old Nigerian lives in a modest Elizabeth apartment building.

He works as a security supervisor at Newark Liberty International Airport.

Police arrested Oyewole at his home this morning.

By now, investigators are surely trying to figure out how he was able to illegally assume Jerry Thomas' identity in the late 1980s...and then consistently pass several background checks.

The real Thomas, by the way, was murdered in New York City in 1992.

His neighbor, Ramon Leon, told pix11's Jay Dow, it's a "very, very alarming because if he would went the wrong way, or if he wanted to do any sort of a criminal act, or conspire with terrorists he could have done it....he had the job - he had the position."

So how could this happen?

The private company he works for -- FJC security, and at least three state and federal agencies, are blaming each other for the security breach.

The Port Authority referred us to FJC, which it hired to provide security at the airport.

FJC officials says when they "inherited" the man they knew as Thomas from another security firm in 2003, he produced a valid birth certificate and social security card.

They also say their new employee was run through the New Jersey State Police Guard registration process and vetted by the US Customs officials.

FJC Spokesman Mike McKeon tells Pix11,

"We went by the book on this guy. It's frustrating and surprising for us."

A spokesperson for the transportation Security Administration tells pix 11 their "investigation indicates that the individual's identification documents were presented to the Port Authority for verification about a decade before TSA existed.

Dow reports that none of the neighbors he met inside the apartment building ever doubted their "Mr. Thomas". He's due to appear in court Tuesday, and is charged with identity theft.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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