SAYRE — A 25-year-old Waverly man is facing a number of charges after he allegedly lied about his identity after being arrested for drug possession.
According to Sayre Police, Justin Winton Vanburen was charged with two counts of use/possession of drug paraphernalia; two counts of false identification to law enforcement; and one count each of false report — falsely incriminating another; unsworn falsification to authorities — forged; tampering with public records/information; obstructing admin law; and perjury — which is a third-degree felony.
Police said the incident began at approximately 9:15 p.m. on Sept. 10 when officers responded to a report of a male attempting to solicit the sale of methamphetamine near the Dandy Mini Mart on South Elmer Avenue.
Officers arrived at the scene and made contact with the man who was described in the report, and subsequently discovered a glass pipe and hypodermic needle on his person.
Police said Vanburen provided officers with the name “Martin W. Johnson” and a date of birth of June 16, 1992. But when the information was ran through Bradford County’s database, it was met with negative results. Vanburen also said he had never had a driver’s license or identification in any state.
Officers then reminded Vanburen that he was part of an ongoing, official investigation and again inquired into his name and age, said police.
When officers asked how old he was, Vanburen responded that he was 22 years old, which was incorrect if he was indeed born in 1992, police said.
When confronted with this information, Vanburen replied, “I’m so (expletive) up right now I don’t even remember how old I am.”
Officers were then finally able to determine that Vanburen, who at that point was still known as Martin Johnson, may have been from the Towanda area, after Towanda Borough Police provided Sayre officers with the ID of a Martin Johnson who was similar in age, size, hair and eye color and appeared to be the man that officers had in custody.
Officers then asked Vanburen if the Martin Johnson on the ID with a date of birth of May 4, 1994 was him and he confirmed that it was.
Vanburen was then formally arrested and arraigned before Magisterial District Court Judge Fred Wheaton under the name Martin Johnson. He was also fingerprinted and photographed, and signed three official governmental fingerprint record cards under the name Martin Johnson.
Following the procedures of the arrest, arraignment and processing, Johnson was transported to the Bradford County Jail, where he was immediately recognized by jail as not to be Martin Johnson, but Justin Vanburen.
Subsequently, Vanburen’s identity was positively matched to his photo by jail staff eyewitness identification along with a verification on his date of birth.
Upon proper identification, Vanburen was discovered to have active warrants out of Sayre for summary disorderly conduct as well as Waverly for second-degree burglary.
Vanburen was then rearraigned and remanded to jail in lieu of $50,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court before Magisterial District Court Judge Larry Hurley on Sept. 24.