Illegal immigrant a 20-year worker at Newark airport

Nigerian man used murder victim's ID, authorities say

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Published: May 15 2012 12:26:22 PM EDT   Updated On: May 15 2012 12:31:55 PM EDT
Newark airport
NEWARK, N.J. -

A man who supervised more than 30 private security guards at Newark Liberty International Airport is accused of being an illegal immigrant who took the identity of a man killed 20 years ago, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday.

Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole began working as a private security guard in 1992 while allegedly using the identity of Jerry Thomas, a man who was murdered in New York City earlier that year, according to Steve Coleman of the Port Authority.

Oyewole, 54, is an illegal immigrant from Nigeria, but passed numerous background checks with the New Jersey State Police and Border Protection, Coleman said Oyewole is an illegal immigrant from Nigeria, but passed numerous background checks with the New Jersey State Police and Border Protection. An anonymous tip several weeks ago helped investigators build a case, said Coleman, who noted that an anonymous tip several weeks ago helped investigators build a case.

Oyewole was arrested at his home in Elizabeth, N.J., on Monday and charged with identity theft. New York police aren't saying whether he's a suspect in Thomas' unsolved murder.

Oyewole worked at four private security companies over the last 20 years, most recently with FJC Security since 2003, and had access to various secure areas of the airport, including the runways, according to Coleman.

A woman who answered the phone at the security company Monday said the company could not release information on any employee without the permission of the employee.

"The individual in question was not a TSA employee," said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, who added that the TSA vets security-cleared airport workers against terrorist screening watch lists but "it's the obligation of the employer to verify each employee's identity, employment eligibility including legal status, and to verify that the employee is using valid, legitimate identification."