Man denies using daughter as drug mule
A man who admitted putting 2 ounces of methamphetamine in his teenage daughter’s purse denied he was using her as a mule.
John V. Nigra, 55, was sentenced to up to a dozen years in prison on Tuesday.
Nigra said he put the drugs in the purse when he thought he was under surveillance by investigators while she was out of the vehicle and that he didn’t expect her to get back in the vehicle.
He said he was using the methamphetamine for medicinal purposes, because he was having trouble staying awake due to respiratory issues.
“No matter how much I used, I couldn’t stay awake,” he said. “I put it in her purse, but I didn’t think she was coming back.”
Nigra also admitted using cocaine last week while he was out on bail. Attorney Melissa Rosenthal said he used the drugs knowing he was going to prison on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Erik Levin played videos of Nigra’s interview with Investigator Jon Storke and body cam footage of his daughter’s interview at the scene of his Dec. 17, 2018, arrest.
Levin argued that the methamphetamine was found in four separate packages and there were indications that Nigra was selling it.
Rosenthal argued that while the amount of methamphetamine was significant, it was all for Nigra’s personal use.
Nigra admitted trafficking with the assistance of a minor.
The girl said she knew the drugs were in her purse on the video.
A warrant had been issued for Nigra before his arrest.
“I just want you to know I wasn’t using my daughter as a mule,” he said.
He was sentenced to 33-84 months on the trafficking charge and 24-60 months on an enhancement for including his daughter. The sentences must be served consecutively, which means Nigra will have to serve a minimum of 57 months before he is eligible for parole.
He was given credit for nine days time served. He must pay $3,285 in alternative sentencing fees for supervising him while he was out on bail. He must also pay a $1,000 fine.