Two men were sentenced to federal prison terms Wednesday after they admitted using counterfeit $100 bills for living expenses in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
U.S. District Judge Frank J. Polozola sentenced Waylon Franklin Sims, 31, of Vivian, in Caddo Parish, to two years in prison.
The judge also ordered Sims to serve two years of post-prison supervision by federal investigators.
Nathaniel Lee Osburn, 25, of San Antonio, was sentenced to seven months in prison and two years of post-prison supervision.
“We were hard up; you know what I’m saying,” Sims told Polozola. “It was a stupid idea. I’ll never do it again, but I didn’t know what else to do.”
Sims said he had been laid off from a construction job at a time when his girlfriend was pregnant. Sims admitted he used a chemical solution to bleach $5 bills, then used a printer to turn the paper into $100 bills.
“I went to stores and busted a $100 bill,” Osburn admitted.
He said he kept the items he bought and gave the change to Sims. Osburn and Sims have been in federal custody since Jan. 26. They were arrested Sept. 14 by Zachary police, Special Agent Jacquelyn Norris, of the U.S. Secret Service, said in a court-filed affidavit.
Norris said the officers were alerted by an employee of an auto parts store that the men were passing counterfeit bills.
Sims admitted he manufactured the counterfeit currency, Norris said in her affidavit.
Osburn admitted he and Sims left San Antonio on Sept. 10 and passed bogus $100 bills “15 to 20 times a day” as they traveled through Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A total of $1,900 was involved in the federal case.
Both men remain in custody because they still face state charges related to the counterfeit cash in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge.
Polozola advised Osburn that he also faces state charges in Texas and Mississippi related to his passing of the counterfeit bills.
The plea agreements in federal court were reached by defense attorneys Brent M. Stockstill, Samuel Charles Ward Jr. and Assistant U.S. Attorney Helina S. Dayries.