An illegal immigrant from Nigeria admitted Friday he assumed the identity of a murdered man so he could work at a busy New York City-area airport, where he was a security supervisor for 20 years. He now faces possible deportation.
Bimbo Oyewole, 54, pleaded guilty to using a fake security badge under a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed to recommend he receive probation. He had been charged with identity theft when he was arrested in May.
He will be jailed pending sentencing Oct. 19. The state attorney general’s office said Oyewole faces potential deportation.
Oyewole admitted he is in the country illegally, having entered on a student visa in 1989 and staying after it expired.
“I came in legally,” Oyewole, hands cuffed behind his back, told the court.
Oyewole admitted he used the identity and identity papers of Jerry Thomas, who was shot in New York in 1992.
Authorities had said Oyewole assumed Thomas’s identity weeks before he died. Police in New York said Thomas sold his documents to a Nigerian cab driver, who sold them to Oyewole. They said they had no evidence tying Oyewole to Thomas’ death.
Oyewole said he presented Thomas’ birth certificate and Social Security card to airport officials. He then received ID cards that give airport workers security clearance.
The Port Authority, which operates Newark Liberty International Airport, said Oyewole most recently worked for FJC Security Services, a contractor that staffs access gates and had access to airplanes and the tarmac. He supervised about 30 guards.
Port Authority officials were alerted to Oyewole after receiving an anonymous letter about him.