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Lehigh man given prison term on obstruction charges

A Lehigh County man was sentenced in Carbon County court on Thursday to a prison term on two counts of obstruction of law and other governmental functions. He previously entered the pleas to the charges.

Jeremy Highland, 30, of Coopersburg, was sentenced to serve six to 23 months in prison on each count, with the terms running concurrently. Felony 3 counts of failure to register with the state police and failure to verify address/be photographed, as required under Megan’s Law as a convicted sexual offender were dropped in a plea deal with the district attorney’s office.

He was charged by Lansford police on July 18, 2019, and again on Aug. 10, 2020, by Nesquehoning police.

Lansford police were notified on July 2, 2019, by state police that Highland violated the conditions of Megan’s Law and was convicted on Dec. 19, 2012, in Florida of sexual offenses. Highland was living in Lansford at the time.

On Dec. 10, 2019, Nesquehoning police were notified by state police that Highland did not register his new address, now listed as Pottsville, but was an inmate at the county prison. Highland, police said, gave a Pottsville address for registration purposes, but when police checked the address given, he was not residing there and the charges were filed.

He told Nanovic that after his release from jail on bail he moved to Pottsville and registered that address. He said he didn’t realize that when he was arrested and jailed, his address was listed at the county prison, which put him in violation of the law.

Highland asked to be placed on probation rather than jail time because he has full-time employment. Nanovic rejected that.

In addition to the prison term, Highland was ordered to get a mental health evaluation, supply a DNA sample, get a sexual offenders reevaluation and pay court costs.

He was given credit for 21 days already served and will begin serving his term at noon on April 22. He was granted work-release privileges.