Fort Worth Jury Convicts Whitt Drug Trafficker
DALLAS - A longtime drug dealer has been convicted of drug and gun crimes, announced DEA Special Agent in Charge Eduardo A. Chávez.
Following a two-day trial, a federal jury convicted Jerome Thomas Watkins, 44, of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin; possession with intent to distribute fentanyl; and possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to evidence presented at trial, officers executed a search warrant at Mr. Watkins’ residence on April 26. Inside, they found more than 4,000 pills laced with fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, along with seven firearms and approximately $17,000 in cash.
They also seized roughly 20 phones, 11 of which were linked to the defendant and contained evidence of his extensive drug trafficking activities.
Mr. Watkins had previously been convicted of two drug crimes: in 1996, he pleaded guilty to possession of intent to distribute crack cocaine and was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison, and in 2002, he pleaded guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison.
While the jury convicted Mr. Watkins of three crimes on Tuesday, they acquitted him of a fourth crime, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
Mr. Watkins now faces 25 years to life in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for March 18.
Today’s conviction is an affirmation of DEA Fort Worth resolve to keep fentanyl and other illicit drugs out of our communities, said SAC Chávez. “DEA and all our law enforcement partners will continue to hold those like Mr. Watkins accountable for their actions.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, Fort Worth Resident Agency, and the Parker County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division and the Benbrook Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Montes and Shawn Smith prosecuted the case. U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor presided over the trial.