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April 2, 2020Anchorage, AK, United StatesDocument and Benefit Fraud

Wasilla man charged with identity theft and false statements

ANCHORAGE – Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Seattle Eben Roberts and U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Jay Osmond Gardner, 55, of Wasilla, has been charged with identify theft and false statements, after allegedly obtaining a state ID using the identification of another individual to travel interstate and avoid contact with law enforcement. Gardner was a person of interest in a homicide investigation and had multiple warrants out for his arrest.

According to the charging document, on Dec. 3, 2019, Gardner was contacted by law enforcement at his Wasilla residence regarding an unrelated investigation being conducted by the Alaska State Troopers. Gardner’s sister, Cher Jammes, who lived in a trailer on the same property, was also interviewed by law enforcement.

Gardner’s true Alaska state ID card was issued in his birth name and identity of Jay Osmond Gardner on March 1, 2019. It is alleged that, on Jan. 22, 2020, a renewal of an Alaska state ID was issued to Gardner after he fraudulently presented himself to be Cher Jammes, in name and appearance.

On March 25, 2020, Gardner allegedly presented the fraudulently obtained ID card to several Alaska Airlines employees at the Anchorage Airport in an attempt to check in for a flight reserved in the name of Cher Jammes. While attempting to check in for the flight, Gardner was approached by an AST investigator and an HSI special agent. Gardner was asked to verify him name, boarding pass, and identification. In doing so, Gardner stated his name was Cher Jammes and presented the fraudulent ID card, but asked to be called “Janey” because he was teased while growing up with the name Cher. Gardner was subsequently arrested and is currently in federal custody.

If the public has any further information regarding Gardner and any suspected criminal activity, please contact the HSI Tipline at 1-866-347-2423 or the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 746-9111.

If convicted, Gardner faces a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in federal prison. Under Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed will be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

HSI and AST conducted the investigation leading to the charges in this case, which is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Alexander.

The charges in the criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.