DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Florida

For Immediate Release

Friday, April 18, 2014
A. Lee Bentley, III
, United States Attorney
Contact: William Daniels

Debary Man Sentenced to More than 7 Years in Federal Prison for Firearm and Drug Offenses

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell sentenced Steven George Higbee (51, Debary) yesterday to 7 ½ years in federal prison for firearm and drug offenses, including possession of a firearm by a person subject to a domestic violence protection order, attempted possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Higbee pleaded guilty on January 24, 2014.

According to court documents, on September 6, 2013 and September 12, 2013, in a store parking lot in Seminole County, Higbee possessed and sold a total of four firearms to another individual. Higbee also told this individual that he was interested in trading firearms for cocaine. On October 1, 2013, Higbee met this same individual a third time and gave him four firearms, including an AR-15 rifle, in exchange for approximately four ounces of cocaine. Shortly after receiving the cocaine, Higbee was arrested and the cocaine and firearms were recovered. During an interview following his arrest, Higbee admitted to law enforcement that he intended to sell the cocaine to individuals in Pennsylvania and New York.

At the time of these offenses, there was a valid domestic violence protection order issued against Higbee. As such, he was not permitted to possess a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andrew C. Searle.

It is another case prosecuted as a part of the Department of Justice’s “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program - a nationwide, gun-violence reduction strategy.  United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, along with Julie Leon, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, is coordinating the Project Safe Neighborhoods effort here in the Middle District of Florida in cooperation with federal, state, and local law enforcement officials. It is also a part of ATF’s Frontline strategy to reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life where law enforcement efforts are focused.



Tampa Field Division