By David Porter, AP
NEWARK, New Jersey — A Nigerian man used the identity of the victim in an unsolved murder to hide his status as an illegal immigrant while working undetected for two decades as a security guard and then a security supervisor at one of the United States’ busiest airports, authorities said Monday in announcing his arrest.
The arrest of Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole came on the day a federal report found the Transportation Security Administration’s handling of security breaches at the airport, Newark Liberty International, deficient. Newark has had a number of high-profile security beaches, the most notorious being the case of a Chinese graduate student who slipped past an exit checkpoint to say goodbye to his girlfriend in 2010, shutting down a terminal and causing huge delays affecting domestic and international traffic.
Oyewole, 54, worked at the airport, starting in 1992, under the name of Jerry Thomas, who was killed that year in New York City. He was arrested, after an anonymous tip, at his home in Elizabeth on Monday and faced charges including identity theft, authorities said. It wasn’t immediately known how Thomas’ personal information was acquired.
Police in New York didn’t say whether Oyewole was a suspect in the July 20, 1992, killing of Thomas in Queens.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the area’s main airports and other transit hubs, said Oyewole entered the United States illegally in 1989 and had worked under several contractors at the airport, most recently FJC Security Services, and supervised about 30 guards. The agency said its investigation found no indication that he used the fake identity for any reason other than to live in the United States.