Official: More Charges Likely for Man Who Posed as HS B-Ball Star

Video: 22-year-old man arrested after posing as a 16-year-old high school student.PlayABCNEWS.com
WATCH 22-Year-Old Poses as High School Kid

Police are predicting additional charges in the bizarre case of a 22-year-old man who allegedly posed as a 16-year-old high school student apparently to play basketball once again.

"I would be very surprised if there are not going to be further charges coming up," Ector County Sheriff Department spokesman Sgt. Gary Dueseler told ABC News. "I think this thing is far from over. The doors are not completely closed on the shed."

Authorities said Guerdwich Montimere, 22, claimed to be a teenager -- born a Haitian orphan -- when he enrolled at Permian High School in Odessa, Texas.

VIDEO: Jerry Joseph duped Permian High into believing he was 16 years old.Play
High School Basketball Star 22 Years Old

At 6' 5", he caught the attention of the school's basketball coach who asked him to play. When the coach, Danny Wright, discovered it did not appear that Montimere had a home, he took him in to his own home.

Over the next year, Montimere, who went by the alias Jerry Joseph, led his team of teens to the state playoffs. The alleged ruse apparently went off without a hitch until last month when a group of Florida coaches recognized Montimere as the graduate of a Florida school high school several years ago, police said.

School officials worked with agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to confirm the coaches' suspicions and discovered Montimere was in reality a naturalized citizen with a mother in Florida, school district spokesman Mike Adkins told ABC News. When confronted, Montimere eventually admitted the fraud.

He was arrested and charged for failing to identify himself to an officer and was released after posting $500 bond, police said.

While police suspect more charges could be brought against Montimere in the case, school investigators are looking into who, if anyone, might have known Montimere's secret.

Due to the stubbornness with which Montimere stuck to his allegedly false identity during police questioning, Adkins said it's likely no one knew his secret, though it "would absolutely be part of the questioning" in the investigation.

To officials, simply Montimere's ability to attend the school represented safety concerns, Adkins said.

"There are some real safety issues when you talk about having a 22-year-old man on a high school campus on a daily basis," he said.

Officials are investigation whether any of Montimere's relationships with other students, including female students, broke any laws, Adkins said.

He said investigators are aggressively seeking additional charges for Montimere as the school district hopes to "make sure people understand we are not taking this lightly."

Permian High School officials did not return requests for comment.

Coach: 'I Loved Jerry Joseph,' Don't Know Montimere

So far no one claims to have suspected Montimere of being anyone different from the high school kid that enrolled as a freshman in 2009 with a Haitian birth certificate.

"Jerry? He's a very sweet guy," school friend Zakira Cage told ABC News.

Senior football player Steven Pipes said, "Everyone just thought he was a big guy. He played the part good, skipping down the hallways, acting goofy like a 16-year-old," Pipes told the AP.

Even after living with Montimere for months, Wright told reporters, "I loved Jerry Joseph... I don't know who Guerdwich Montimere is."

But an expert on the hyper-competitive nature of high school sports in Odessa, Texas, said he's suspicious that someone must have known.

"Odessa is a sports obsessed town and coaches are manipulative and coaches will do anything to win," said Buzz Bissinger, author of the book "Friday Night Lights" which is based on Permian High School. "They don't care. It sounds like the school district acted responsibly after the fact, but come on. The kid acts like he's 15, he's homeless, he's got a Haitian birth certificate. This is ridiculous."

According to teacher Liz Fraught, the man was a "most respectable young man" and "was well mannered" when she taught him, the AP reported.

Former University of Texas-Permian Basin men's basketball coach Randy Lee told the AP Montimere looked mature, but not older than the 15-years-old he claimed to be at the time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.