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Men sentenced in alleged identity theft, counterfeit check scheme

Jacksonville residents David Mitchell, Hezekiah Williams sentenced

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Two Jacksonville men have been sentenced to a minimum of 10 years in federal prison for their roles in an identity theft and counterfeit check scheme, U.S. attorneys said.

David Mitchell, 60, and Hezekiah Williams, 59, were ordered to serve eight years in federal prison for attempted bank fraud and possession of counterfeit business checks, followed by a consecutive mandatory minimum term of two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft, according to U.S. attorneys.

Travis Ware, 24, of Jacksonville, was sentenced March 9 to a mandatory minimum term of two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers pulled over a vehicle occupied by Williams, Mitchell and Ware on Nov. 23, 2014, according to court documents.

Troopers observed marijuana inside the vehicle during the traffic stop. 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 the trio had been driving around three days earlier, attempting to fraudulently cash the counterfeit checks and recruiting others to use the various forms of identification to cash the counterfeit checks.