News and Press Releases

MANDEVILLE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2010

RICHARD A. HIGGINS, 65, of Mandeville, Louisiana, pled guilty in federal court today before U. S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan to Count 1 of the Superseding Bill of Information charging HIGGINS with receipt of child pornography, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

According to documents filed in federal court, Special Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), determined that HIGGINS was using his computer to acquire child pornography. The agents found the defendant in possession of a computer and related computer equipment that contained approximately 10,000 images and 2500 videos depicting the sexual victimization of children.

HIGGINS faces a possible maximum sentence of forty (40) years and a mandatory minimum of fifteen (15) years in federal prison. Upon his release from custody he will be placed on supervised release up to a term of life, be required to give a DNA sample, and will have to register as a sex offender.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

This case is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Project Safe Childhood Coordinator, Assistant U. S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba.

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