FEB 22 (JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Robert E. O’Neill, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announced yesterday that a federal jury found Frank Higginbotham (36, Hastings) guilty of one count of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and one count of distribution of methamphetamine. For the conspiracy offense, Higginbotham faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, up to life in federal prison. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison for the distribution charge. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for June 3, 2013. Higginbotham was indicted on August 2, 2012.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Higginbotham manufactured and sold methamphetamine at various locations in St. Johns County. During the conspiracy, methamphetamine users gave Higginbotham boxes of medication containing pseudoephedrine in exchange for methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine, which is an ingredient in many cold and allergy medications, is the primary ingredient needed to manufacture methamphetamine. On February 13, 2012, Higginbotham sold methamphetamine to an undercover DEA agent.This investigation was conducted by DEA Jacksonville District Office and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Trouville commended the prosecution efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District.