Man charged with identity fraud

LoCoSheriffStar Dodds

A Nigerian national has been charged with identity fraud and cited for no operator’s license, leaving the scene of crash and failure to control.

Pedro Ernest, 23, of Columbus, was driving a moving van Tuesday and lost control and struck a pine tree near Madriver Mountain Ski Resort, 1000 Snow Valley Road, Zanesfield. The tree was uprooted and Ernest drove to a nearby residence.

Deputies located the driver and two coworkers. Ernest provided indentity information for a Columbus man, but a computer records check revealed he was lying. They also noted he was referred to as Pedro on a work order in the moving van and on his cellular phone.

By Wednesday, deputies made contact with the Columbus man and confirmed Ernest’s true identity. He told deputies he came to the U.S. on a student visa, but economic strife in Nigeria interrupted his studies.

He has been working construction up until returning to Ohio and taking the moving job.

Alarm scares off burglary

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