Tennessee Man Wanted For Decades Has True Identity Revealed After Receiving COVID Vaccine, According To Police

The true identity of a Tennessee man was revealed after he received a COVID-19 vaccine at a local Walgreens.

Jerry Leon Blankenship, 65, was sentenced to 25 months in prison Monday and three years of supervised release for aggravated identity theft and fraudulently using a social security number, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. (RELATED: Active Military Members Hit Harder By Identity Theft Than Other Adults: Study)

Blankenship took the name and identity of another individual and obtained a COVID-19 vaccine at a pharmacy in Newport, Tennessee, according to the press release. Surveillance footage confirms that it was Blankenship at the Walgreen’s pharmacy, the Charlotte Observer reported.

The real victim, who did not receive the vaccine, was notified about Blankenship getting it, according to the press release.

Court documents state that Blankenship enlisted in the Navy in 1976 and left the next year, according to the press release. In order to avoid military service, he took another person’s name and identity before establishing a new life in Newport.

Court documents show that person was the father of his then-girlfriend’s child, the Charlotte Observer reported. His girlfriend had suggested he take his identity to avoid the military, the outlet reported.

After they separated, authorities said Blankenship married the estranged daughter of his first wife and raised three kids together in Newport, the Charlotte Observer reported.

Blankenship had “been dishonest about his name with almost everyone, including his girlfriend of thirty years” and the mother of his three children, court records stated, according to the press release.

In a letter to the court, Blankenship’s daughter wrote that her father “has always been an incredible, faithful, caring, and honest,” WFBF reported.

“He is an outstanding citizen. If ANYONE needed anything, he would be the first there to help. Daddy is well aware of the wrong he has done. This issue started when he was still a kid so to speak. Everyone has done something in their life that they are not proud of. It took him a while to realize his, but at that point he was afraid it was too late to correct it,” she wrote, according to the outlet.

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