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Drug dealer convicted by federal jury

Faces minimum 25-year sentence

From the Parker County Sheriff’s Office

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas announced the conviction of a Parker County man following an investigation sparked by Sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division earlier this year.  

Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said the U.S. Department of Justice announced that 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.  

Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division executed a search warrant on April 26 at Watkins’ residence in Whitt resulting from the Parker County investigation.  

Authier said due to the vast and complex nature of the investigation, the Texas Rangers, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Office (DEA), the US DOJ Federal Bureau of Investigations Dallas Field Office (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Office (ATF) were contacted to assist in the investigation, which eventually led to federal charges against Watkins.  

Law enforcement authorities seized more than 4,000 pills laced with fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin along with seven firearms, approximately $17,000 in U.S. currency from Watkins’ home during the execution of the search warrant along with a stolen trailer, 390 grams of Oxycodone pills, and a narcotics ledger. Authier said 11 dogs which were kept in a cruel manner at the home, were surrendered to Sheriff’s Animal Control Officers.  

Authorities were able to link Watkins’ to extensive drug trafficking activities through 11 of the 20 cell phones which were also seized from Watkins’ home.  

Watkins was convicted in 1996 after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and he was sentenced to 72-months in federal prison. He was also sentenced to 135-months in 2002 after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.  

According to the US DOJ, Watkins faces a minimum of 25 years and up to life in prison for his current charges. His sentencing hearing is scheduled March 18, 2022.  

Authier thanked all agencies and investigators who assisted in the investigation as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the case.  

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