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home : news : north central illinois   April 30, 2016

12/27/2013 3:40:00 AM
Ottawa man gets 12-year prison sentence

Kevin Caufield
NewsTribune Reporter

By Kevin Caufield
NewsTribune Reporter

OTTAWA — An Ottawa man was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison for a heroin delivery, but still counts himself fortunate to have evaded a related gun charge.

Thomas J. Higgins, 36, of 617 Webster St. was facing 3-14 years for heroin delivery at a hearing before Chief Judge H. Chris Ryan Jr.

Higgins was charged Jan. 17 after he delivered less than a gram of heroin to a confidential informant working with Tri-County Drug Enforcement Narcotics Team.

TRI-DENT reported they later seized from Higgins a loaded 9-mm handgun plus additional magazines; but at an October trial, Higgins’ jury accepted that the firearm was not on him during the commission of the drug exchange.

The partial acquittal averted a more serious conviction for armed violence, a Class X felony carrying 15-60 years.

Kevin Caufield can be reached at (815) 220-6932 or

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