There is an old country folk expression, "Playing Possum."

The possum thinks it's in danger and plays dead until the danger goes away.

But this man from Greybull, Wyoming did it for 50 years.

Now he gets to play dead for another 20 years... in prison.

Man in prison hands of behind hold Steel cage jail bars. offender criminal locked in jail.
Getty Stock / ThinkStock

At the same time, he has to pay nearly $1 million in fines. Not sure where he's going to get that.

The Wyoming man was posing as an Idaho man for the last 50 while declaring that the real him was dead. With me so far? This was only uncovered only when he was unable to answer questions about himself.

According to Cowboy State Daily, Peter Jeremy Martin is accused of assuming the identity of James Delbert Libbey in 1970, who died in Idaho in 1964.

Martin is charged in U.S. District Court with making false statements, aggravated identity theft and making false statements in a passport application.

According to court documents, Martin applied for a passport in January 2021 under Libbey’s name. He previously was issued a passport under the same name in 2007.

This all raised some red flags so some digging, no pun intended, was done.

Three small blank grave stones in a line

Martin had assumed the identity of Libbey, who had died in 1964. Martin even had a driver’s license under Libbey’s name.

That sent Diplomatic Security Service special agents to pay Martin a visit at his home in Greybull. His wife, Heather Libbey, was present during the discussion.

WAIT- His wife was there during the interview with the agents? Did she know?


The agents did not tell him why there were there, at first. Martin complained to the agents about the long delay in receiving his passport.

At that point, the agents told Martin that in order to complete his passport application, he needed to confirm the information on his application and answer a few other questions.

That's the problem with lies. Sooner or later they are confronted by the truth and they can't stand up to it.

"(Martin) asked why I was asking these questions, stating for a second time he'd already received two passports," a special agent writes in the complaint. "I replied that the problem was that his passport application and his two previous passports were in the identity of a deceased person and that the true James Delbert Libbey had died in 1964." (K2Radio).

Wife Heather Libbey quietly attempted to coach her husband on the answers. WAIT, WAIT! Hold on. That answers the question as to if she knew about this or not.


Martin again asked why the agent was questioning him. Well, they responded, there is a little problem with two other passports being issued under the names of DEAD PEOPLE!

Lying on a passport is fraud. Stealing other people's identities, even if they are dead, is also fraud.

So by now, you must be wondering what Martin had done to make him hide under a dead man's name for 50 years.


Martin had already been in jail as a young man for theft, armed robbery, burglary, attempted murder, and prison escape in Arkansas and Wyoming.

He had been paroled from the Idaho State Penitentiary in 1967 but disappeared around 1970. No surprise that at the same time he had vanished the Social Security Administration issued a new social security number for the deceased Libbey.

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