Man Pleads to Dealing Meth in Multiple Pennsylvania Counties


PITTSBURGH, PA —A former resident of Apollo, Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of violating federal narcotics laws, United States Attorney Cindy K. Chung announced.

James D. Higgins, age 42, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, to seven counts before United States District Judge Wiegand.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Higgins possessed with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, possessed with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of methamphetamine and possessed with intent to distribute and/or distribution of a quantity of a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. The methamphetamine recovered in this case resulted from investigations by local law enforcement officers in Indiana, Westmoreland, Allegheny, and Armstrong Counties from June of 2020 through November of 2021.

Judge Wiegand scheduled sentencing for Jan. 18, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, a fine of $10,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The court ordered the defendant to remain detained pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Brian W. Castello is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Monroeville Police Department, Washington Township Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police, Lower Burrell Police Department, Kiskiminetas Township Police Department, Vandergrift Police Department, Indiana Borough Police Department, Indiana County Drug Task Force, Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office, Indiana County District Attorney’s Office and Armstrong County District Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of James D. Higgins.

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