A former college football player from Dayton who once played a preseason NFL game for the Indianapolis Colts pleaded guilty Monday to a scheme to use fake $100 bills to buy postal money orders at several Ohio post offices.
Donye McCleskey, 29, who graduated from Chaminade-Julienne and played football at Indiana State, pleaded guilty in Dayton’s U.S. District Court to aiding and abetting uttering of counterfeit obligations or securities.
“Guilty,” McCleskey said while wearing a dark suit. He was been free on bond with electronic monitoring for six months before having that removed earlier this month.
“Since 1865, the U.S. Secret Service has been working actively with our law enforcement partners to pursue and arrest counterfeiters and will continue to do so,” Kevin Dye, Dayton’s Resident Agent in Charge, wrote in a statement.
In exchange for his guilty plea, McCleskey saw prosecutors dismiss seven other counts. McCleskey’s defense attorney, John Rion, calculated his client’s non-binding sentencing range at zero to six months. McCleskey has no criminal record.
The statutory maximums are up to 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine and McCleskey likely will be ordered to pay restitution.
U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice scheduled McCleskey’s sentencing for July 2 after a pre-sentence report is completed.
A federal indictment states that McCleskey and co-defendant Houda-Ezamane Hamadi from at least Sept. 26 to Oct. 10, 2017, exchanged fake $100 bills for postal money orders.
The indictment said the conspiracy included McCleskey driving Hamadi to post offices where Hamadi would exchange the bills for money orders.
The indictment said that on Oct. 10, the two exchanged or attempted to exchange eight fake $100 bills apiece at post offices in Clifton, Enon, North Hampton and Christiansburg for a total of $4,000.
In October, this news organization reported that 10 post offices in the Miami Valley including locations in Dayton and Yellow Springs reported suspects attempting to exchange counterfeit $100s for money orders.
The defendants were caught when the Enon postmaster got a partial license plate and a stop was made on Dayton Lakeview Road near New Carlisle.
The duo originally were charged in Clark County Common Pleas Court, but the case was moved to federal court. Hamadi’s case is not visible in online public federal public records, indicating her case may be sealed.
Assistant U.S. attorney Andrew Hunt declined comment about McCleskey’s case, citing the ongoing case against a co-defendant.
McCleskey played in a 2010 preseason game for the NFL’s Colts against the San Francisco 49ers. The defensive back was released after the Colts placed him on the waived/injured list.