Man Pleads Guilty to Lying to a Federal Grand Jury and Violating the Federal Gun Control Act

Published 11:00 am Sunday, July 10, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that on July 7, 2022 JAMES HEIGLE, 40, from St. Tammany Parish, pled guilty to counts four, five, and six of the superseding indictment for false declarations before a grand jury, felon in possession of a firearm, and violent felon in possession of body armor.  HEIGLE was initially indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on July 1, 2021.

Between May 8 – 29, 2019, HEIGLE possessed multiple firearms and a bullet-proof vest.  Before May 2019, he was convicted of a violent felony in Jefferson Parish, which precluded him from possessing firearms and a bullet-proof vest.

At sentencing for count four, false declarations before a grand jury, HEIGLE faces up to a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1623.

At sentencing for count five, felon in possession of a firearm, HEIGLE faces up to a maximum term of imprisonment of ten (10) years, a fine of up to $250,000, up to three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(2).

At sentencing for count six, violent felon in possession of body armor, HEIGLE faces up to a maximum term of imprisonment of three (3) years, a fine of up to $250,000, up to one (1) year of supervised release following any term of imprisonment, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee, pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Sections 931 and 924(a)(7).

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New Orleans Police Department.  It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melissa Bücher of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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