Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole, a 54-year-old Nigerian man, was arrested in New Jersey, authorities said on Monday, when it was discovered that the illegal immigrant had been living and working in the United States for twenty years, using the identity of the deceased victim in an unsolved murder.
Oyewole worked as a security guard at the Newark Liberty International Airport under the name Jerry Thomas and his arrest comes on the day a federal report found the Transportation Security Administraion (TSA) deficient in handling the increasing number of hig-profile security breaches.
He worked at the airport since 1992, using the identity of Thomas who was killed that same year in New York City. Authorities received an anonymous tip and nabbed Oyewole at his home in Elizabeth on Monday, reports said, and he will be charging him with identity theft. According to records kept by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Oyewole entered the United States illegally in 1989.
It is unclear how Oyewole got the fake identity, and police officers have not implicated him in the July 20, 1992 killing of Thomas in Queens. Under his false identity, Oyewole worked under several contractors at the airport, most recently FJC Security Services, and supervised about 30 guards. Port Authority officials say Oyewole only used the identity to live and work in the states and nothing more.
The leaders of the Port Authority will now “meet with them in the coming days to take every legally permissible step to recheck their security personnel on a regular basis and to protect our customers, employees and facilities,” agency spokesman Steve Coleman said.
FJC Security said it had conducted a background check on the guard when they received an airport contract in 2003, and so did the New Jersey state police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“In all cases, he passed the background checks,” FJC spokesman Michael McKeon said. “During his time with FJC, he had nothing in his record or his performance to indicate a cause for concern or a reason to question the state police and federal government’s background checks.”
The TSA in a statement said it will be reviewing employment procedures with the FJC, following the arrests.
“This investigation indicates that the individual’s identification documents were presented to the Port Authority for verification about a decade before TSA existed,” the statement said.