Historic City News was notified that US District Judge Marcia Morales Howard sentenced 36-year-old Frank Freitas Higginbotham of Hastings, to 15 years and 10 months in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine during a hearing June 24, 2013.
The court also ordered Higginbotham to serve 8 years of supervised release after his from prison. A jury found Higginbotham guilty of the offenses on February 21, 2013.
According to court documents, 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 Drug Enforcement Administration agent. Higginbotham had previously served three years in state prison for trafficking in methamphetamine.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold B. Corsmeier.