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New U.S. Attorney sworn in for eastern NC

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The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Robert J. Higdon Jr. has taken the oath of office to become the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

President Donald Trump nominated Higdon on Aug. 2, and he was confirmed by the United States Senate on Sept. 28. He took the oath of office from Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever.

He replaces John Stuart Bruce, who was appointed on Jan. 8, 2016, as Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, by virtue of the Vacancies Reform Act. He was serving as U.S. Attorney on an interim basis until Higdon was sworn in.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of the Eastern District of North Carolina as United States Attorney. I am grateful to President Trump for this opportunity, and I want to thank Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis for their strong support though the confirmation process.” Higdon said in news release.

As U.S. Attorney, Mr. Higdon is the top-ranking federal law enforcement official in the Eastern District of North Carolina, which includes the 44 eastern most counties of North Carolina. He oversees a staff of 108 employees, including 51 attorneys and 57 non-attorney support personnel. The office is responsible for prosecuting federal crimes in the district, including crimes related to terrorism, public corruption, child exploitation, firearms, and narcotics. The office also defends the United States in civil cases and collects debts owed to the United States.

Higdon, a Greensboro native, spent nearly 24 years as a federal prosecutor before entering the private sector, including serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in both the Western and Eastern Districts of North Carolina. He has supervised and prosecuted a wide range of criminal cases, including narcotic traffickers, white collar and public corruption matters, mail and wire fraud, bribery, false statements, Foreign Corrupt Practices, violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act, violations of import/export regulations, money laundering, theft of government property and violations involving government contracting and programs.

Higdon has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including the investigation and resolution of violations by a private security firm, a criminal investigation that returned North Carolina's Original Copy of the Bill of Rights to the State more than 130 years after it was stolen by Federal Troops, the prosecution of numerous public officials in North Carolina and in other states and was co-lead counsel in the 2012 trial of former United States Senator and former Presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards was acquitted on one count, and the jury deadlocked on the remaining counts.

Higdon received his J.D. in 1989 from the Wake Forest University School of Law and his B.A. in 1985 from Wake Forest University. He is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and the State Bar of Georgia.

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