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2 Jacksonville men plead guilty on multiple charges

Men plead guilty to aggravated identity theft, attempted bank fraud, possession of counterfeit securities

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Jacksonville men have pleaded guilty to attempted bank fraud, possession of counterfeit business checks and aggravated identity theft, U.S. attorneys said.

Hezekiah Williams, 59, and David Lee Mitchell, 53, face a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for the attempted bank fraud charge and up to 10 years in prison for the possession of counterfeit securities charge, to be followed by a consecutive mandatory minimum of 2 years' imprisonment for the aggravated identity theft offense, according to U.S. attorneys.

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol pulled over a vehicle Nov. 23, 2014, that was occupied by Williams, Mitchell, and Travis Ware, according to the plea agreement.

During the traffic stop, the troopers observed marijuana inside the SUV. U.S. attorneys said a search of the vehicle revealed 25 counterfeit business checks made out to various individuals and 15 forms of identification from seven different people.

Many of the names on the identification documents matched those printed on the counterfeit checks, U.S. attorneys said.

Further investigation determined that Mitchell, Williams and Ware had been driving around three days earlier attempting to fraudulently cash the counterfeit checks and recruiting others to use the IDs to cash the checks.

Ware is set to begin trial Nov. 2, U.S. attorneys said.