Man suspected of giving pot to teen girls
A Grand Junction man was arrested Thursday on allegations he provided marijuana to his 14-year-old daughter and her three friends and smoked it with them inside his apartment.
William Thomas Higgs, 57, 1030 Teller Ave., No. 6, made his first appearance in court Friday and was advised he could be charged with providing marijuana to a person under the age of 15 and four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The marijuana charge carries with it a mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison, said Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger.
County Judge Bruce Raaum set Higgs’ bond at $15,000.
Police were called to East Middle School, 830 Gunnison Ave., on Thursday afternoon and met with principal Leigh Grasso, who indicated she was investigating three teenage girls who had ditched school Wednesday.
Grasso indicated two of the girls had admitted they were at the apartment of a third girl whose father had offered them marijuana, according to an arrest affidavit.
One of the girls’ written statements indicated she, a second girl and Higgs’ daughter were at the Higgses’ apartment Sunday when Higgs offered them marijuana to smoke. The statement indicated the girls returned to the apartment Wednesday and Higgs offered his daughter and the second girl a bowl to smoke, the affidavit said.
A statement written by the second girl indicated Higgs gave her a pipe and a lighter and asked her if she wanted to take a hit. She took a hit and said Higgs’ daughter took three or four hits, the affidavit said.
Police later learned a third girl, a 14-year-old Grand Junction High School student, had also been at the Higgses’ apartment Sunday.
After meeting with Grasso, officers went to Higgs’ apartment Thursday and told him there were allegations he had provided marijuana to his daughter’s friends.
“Higgs denied any knowledge of such a thing, and stated that he did not do that,” an officer wrote in the affidavit.
Police booked Higgs into jail and found he had a $700 warrant out of Delta County. Officers also learned he is on probation in Montrose for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the affidavit said.
Hautzinger told Raaum he was alarmed by the fact Higgs has been convicted for similar behavior.