May 15, 2017
Contact: SA Timothy Desmond
Phone Number: 617-557-2100
New Hampshire Fentanyl Trafficker Pleads Guilty
Sold Fentanyl to Individual Who Died of Overdose
MAY 15 - CONCORD, N.H. - Michael J. Ferguson Special Agent-in-Charge of the DEA’s New England Division, and Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced that Dennis Higgins, 23, formerly of Hudson, New Hampshire, pled guilty to unlawful distribution of fentanyl.
According to court documents and statements in the court proceeding, on February 15, 2016, Higgins sold a quantity of fentanyl to “M.W.”, a 22-year old female from Kittery, Maine. Because of a 911 call the following morning, emergency personnel responded to M.W.’s residence in Kittery, where they found M.W. dead from a suspected drug overdose. In the immediate vicinity of the body, law enforcement officers found needles and a plastic bag that contained a white powdery substance that was determined to be fentanyl. An autopsy determined M.S.’s death was caused by acute fentanyl intoxication.
Higgins is scheduled to be sentenced on August 23, 2017. The plea agreement contains a binding stipulation that the parties agree to recommend to the court that Higgins be sentenced within a range of 120 months to 144 months of imprisonment; however, the court deferred acceptance of the stipulation until the time of sentencing.
“Opioid abuse is at epidemic levels in New Hampshire,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Michael J. Ferguson. “Fentanyl is causing overdose deaths across the Granite State, and DEA is committed to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives. This investigation demonstrates the strength and continued commitment of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners.”
Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley said, “Fentanyl continues to be the cause of far too many deaths in the Granite State and throughout New England. The aggressive investigation and prosecution of individuals engaged in fentanyl trafficking in New Hampshire remains a top priority of the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners at the local, state. and federal level. While we support access to treatment for those who suffer from addiction, those who distribute these deadly drugs need to be held accountable for the substantial damage they are causing in our community.”
This case was investigated by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the Kittery, Maine and Merrimack, New Hampshire Police Departments. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Cole Davis.