Ukrainian man, 23, found posing as Pennsylvania high school student

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |  Feb. 25, 2016 at 12:13 PM
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Authorities in Pennsylvania said they arrested a 23-year-old man accused of assuming the false identity of a high school student after his visa expired.

Harrisburg Police said John Harris High School student Asher Potts was arrested at 3 p.m. Tuesday after an investigation determined he was actually Artur Samarin, 23, a Ukrainian man who allegedly assumed the identity of Potts after his visa expired.

Investigators said Samarin used a false birth date to obtain a Social Security card and other U.S. identification documents under the name of Potts.

Police said the suspect was in possession of a driver's license under the Potts name at the time of his arrest.

Samarin allegedly enrolled in school under his assumed name in the fall of 2012. He participated in the ROTC and Naval Sea Cadet program at the school.

State Rep. Patty Kim, D-Harrisburg, tweeted a photo with "Asher Potts" in May 2014. The tweet said Samarin had a 4.16 grade point average and was joining the National Honor Society. The photo was hashtagged, "#goingplaces."

Harrisburg School District Public Relations Coordinator Kirsten Keys said district officials are cooperating with police.

"While we do not know all of the details surrounding the arrest, we are treating this as a serious matter. At this time, the investigation is in the hands of the Harrisburg Bureau of Police. The district will continue to cooperate fully with the police department as they move forward with their investigation," Keys said in a statement.

Samarin was booked on charges including theft, identity theft and tampering with public records.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

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