Samarin, who used the alias Asher Potts, was arrested on Tuesday, accused of using a false identity during his time at Harrisburg High School. The department reportedly received a tip about the student two months ago.
Samarin, who is believed to have been in the country for four years, began attending the school as a freshman, and was now just a few months away from graduation. He was on the honor roll, actively involved in the school, on a student advisory group for a food bank, and a member of the school's ROTC and Naval Sea Cadet programs. From all accounts, he appeared to be a model student.
"It's totally mind-blowing to me," said Marcel McCaskill, who knew Samarin from a seven-week math and science program the two participated in at Penn State. "Honestly, he was a very respectable guy. He was the perfect role model, someone you would want your son to look up to."
On May 30, 2014, Samarin, as Potts, received recognition from State Representative Patty Kim for his involvement in the ROTC.
"While we do not know all of the details surrounding the arrest, we are treating this as a serious matter. At this time, the investigation is in the hands of the Harrisburg Bureau of Police. The district will continue to cooperate fully with the police department as they move forward with their investigation," Harrisburg School District Public Relations Coordinator Kirsten Keys said in a statement.
The police are now investigating to see whether any of his friends knew about his real identity or helped to conceal it.
"I would think there would have to be someone who knew," Sgt. Terry Wealand said. "And if there is, they are going to pay, too."
Samarin is currently being held in Dauphin County jail on charges of identity theft and tampering with public records.