Bimbo Olumuyiwa Oyewole, a Nigerian immigrant, lived under the name Jerry Thomas for around 20 years and somehow was not only able to hold a job but hold a job supervising security officers at a relatively large airport.
The real Jerry Thomas was reportedly murdered in 1992 in Queens, New York, yet somehow Oyewole was able to pass both state and federal background checks in order to hold his position supervising 30 security guards at Newark Liberty International Airport.
Oyewole, a 54-year-old, was arrested at his home in Elizabeth on Monday after the New York Port Authority Police received an anonymous tip.
Most recently, Oyewole worked for the contractor FJC Security Services, although he had worked under several other contractors at the airport as well.
Apparently Oyewole had all of the documents one would need, including a birth certificate and social security card, both of which may or may not have been forged.
FJC Security Services has had a contract with Newark airport since 2003 and they say that they carried out a background check not on Oyewole not only with the New Jersey state police but also the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is a child agency of the behemoth Department of Homeland Security.
“In all cases, he passed the background checks,” said FJC spokesman Michael McKeon.
“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,” McKeon added.
According to NorthJersey.com, Oyewole even presented his fingerprints, but since neither Thomas nor Oyewole had ever been fingerprinted by police, this raised no red flags, although one security expert said this is highly unusual.
“The series of coincidences boggles the mind,” Charles Slepian, founder of Foreseeable Risk Analysis Center, said referring to the strange fact that neither man had fingerprints in any state or federal databases.
“This is an example of what can happen when you don’t screen your personnel very well,” Slepian added.
“His fingerprints got matched up to the other man’s identity,” said Anthony L. Bucci, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
CBP gave Oyewole the clearance required to work in inspection areas where the screening of international passengers takes place.
FJC Security has a $145 million contract with the Port Authority to provide security services at over 12 major facilities where they supplement the Port Authority’s armed police.
This case very well might spark a massive effort to re-check every single security guard.
“Our [the Port Authority’s] leadership called and spoke with FJC Security today and will 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,” said Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman.
Officials believe that Oyewole was using the stolen identity in order to continue to stay in the United States, which he clearly succeeded in doing.
Currently, Oyewole is awaiting the filing of additional charges and is awaiting arraignment at the Superior Court in Essex County.
A spokeswoman for the state Attorney General said that their office is handling the prosecution while refusing to provide any additional details on the case.
The TSA said in a statement that they are reviewing the procedures the Port Authority uses to validate the documents of employees and contractors, although considering that TSA allowed employers to hire individuals without background checks to work in airports, I doubt much will be done.
They might make some token changes in order to make themselves look good in response to this incident, but a major overhaul is doubtful given that they couldn’t care less about security.
Oyewole, using his fake identity, was able to pass the mandatory training and fingerprinting under the Security Officer Registration Act. Under this act, candidates are disqualified if they have been convicted of any drug-related crimes or a fourth-degree offense of any other nature.
According to an anonymous airport employee who reportedly knew Oyewole as Thomas, Oyewole supervised the security guards who guarded the TSA security checkpoints after passenger gates closed at night and before the opened in the morning.
The guards supervised by Oyewole also were responsible for inspecting incoming delivery vehicles for unauthorized cargo, according to the unnamed employee who spoke to the Associated Press.
Clearly, this is far from a low-level position.
A recently released report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General concluded that a mere 42 percent of reported security breaches between January 2010 and May 2011 led to any corrective action whatsoever.
Even more ludicrous is that they found that the TSA had actually worked to improve their response to such breaches, meaning that this number was likely even lower in the past.
The Star-Ledger produced a graphic detailing just a handful of the security breaches at Newark airport from January 2011 to February 2011.
– A dead dog being loaded onto a department flight without being screened for both explosives and disease.
– A carry-on bag passing through the screening procedures even though it contained a knife.
– A passenger completely bypassing the TSA screening procedure by walking through a disability gate.
– Two passengers passing through the security checkpoint even after the monitor on one of the so-called “full-body scanners” malfunctioned.
– An improperly screened passenger entering the secure area without being cleared according to TSA protocol.
Hopefully this will help serve as a wake-up call to the American people and help them realize that the entire war on terror is a fraud designed to rob the United States blind while justifying the complete eradication of our most essential rights in the name of security.
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