FOREST CITY — A Forest City man accused of masquerading as someone else to get a job, register to vote, obtain a hunting license and secure other benefits and services for two years was arrested last week in Tennessee. 

Wendell Hunter, 57, was charged with felony identity theft, felony possession of a firearm by a felon and misdemeanor counts of false use of a birth certificate and two counts of false application for a license or identity card.

Hunter filed a written plea of guilty to identity theft and fraudulent use of a birth certificate in a plea deal to have the other three counts dismissed.

He failed to appear for sentencing Sept. 8, 2017, court documents say, and a nationwide warrant for his arrest was issued that day. 

He was arrested Wednesday in Crossville, Tennessee, and brought back to Forest City. Fees to bring Hunter back to North Iowa included $1,899 in mileage, court documents say. Court documents do not say what events led to his arrest.

Hunter is being held on a $14,000 cash-only bond. He is scheduled to appear Tuesday in Winnebago County District Court. 

Police believe Hunter stole the identity of a Florida man, Daniel Hughes, and began posing as Hughes from June 9, 2014, until Oct. 20, 2017, according to court documents.

During that time, police say Hunter used Hughes' identity to earn $73,846 at 3M Corp., obtain utilities, register to vote, get insurance benefits, establish bank accounts and credit cards and to receive a hunting and fishing license, court documents say. 

They also claimed he bought a home while pretending to be Daniel Hughes and used a falsified birth certificate and Pennsylvania voter ID form to obtain a non-driver ID card from the Iowa DOT in 2014. 

A search warrant at Hunter's residence in October 2016 yielded a pistol and ammunition, court documents say.

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Contact Courtney at 641-421-0534 or on Twitter @CourtneyFiorini.



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