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Fingerprints reveal arrested Pittsburgh man's true identity

| Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 1:21 a.m.
Photo courtesy of Westmoreland County jail
Steven Charles Boykin of Pittsburgh was charged with drug possession following a search of a Fourth Avenue house in New Kensington on Friday, Sept. 6, 2013. Police said Boykin initally gave them the fake name of Sean Liam Johnson.

One of the men arrested during a drug bust in New Kensington a week ago apparently had an identity crisis.

New Kensington police originally charged Sean Liam Johnson, 23, of Pittsburgh with drug possession and related charges when he was found on Sept. 6 in a Parnassus house where police seized drugs, guns and cash.

However, during Johnson's preliminary hearing before District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr. on Thursday, authorities realized he really is Steven Charles Boykin, 22, of Pittsburgh.

Not only is Boykin facing drug charges in New Kensington, but he was wanted by Penn Hills police on an attempted homicide charge filed in August 2012, according to court records.

New Kensington police Chief Tom Klawinski said Boykin's fingerprints were scanned when he was arrested as Sean Johnson.

Klawinski doesn't know why the system did not correctly identify Boykin then.

The chief, who was occupied on Thursday with an unrelated incident involving a homemade bomb on Seventh Street, wasn't sure how Boykin's true identity came to light. Detective Sgt. Robert Deringer, who filed the charges against Boykin, could not be reached for comment.

Boykin was one of four people arrested on the discovery of alleged heroin and crack cocaine worth more than $28,000 in the second-floor apartment at 406 Fourth Ave.

Police say they found four guns, including an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle; $5,300 in cash; and alleged drug paraphernalia.

Officers originally were trying to serve a warrant on tenant Matthew McCloud, 23, who wasn't there and remains at large.

In addition to Boykin, police charged Bates Ushra Gay, 28, of Arnold; Dakota Kate Haynes, 18, and Michael Todd Lasko Jr., 21, both of New Kensington.

Including McCloud, all five face charges of drug possession with the intent to deliver, drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Gay, Lasko and McCloud also are charged with illegal gun possession; Gay, Haynes and Lasko are charged with corruption of a minor because a juvenile girl was inside the apartment when police arrived.

Boykin allegedly had two rocks of suspected crack cocaine and about $900 in cash in his pockets when police arrested him as he tried to flee through a rear bedroom window, according to court records.

He has been in the Westmoreland County jail under the name Sean Johnson since his arrest because he has been unable to pay a $100,000 bail. On Thursday he waived to court the drug charges.

Pallone also arraigned Boykin on the Penn Hills charges of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and reckless endangerment; he was denied bail in that case.

Details on the Penn Hills incident were not immediately available. Messages left for Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton and Detective Benjamin Westwood, who is listed on court records as the arresting officer, were not returned.

Also at Pallone's, Haynes waived her charges to county court and was free on $10,000 bond.

A hearing for Lasko, who is in jail on $150,000 bail, was postponed until Sept. 26. Gay, who is in jail on $50,000 bail, also is scheduled for a preliminary hearing then.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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