News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2008
Contact: Terri K. Wyatt
Special Agent/PIO
Number: 214-366-6900

Physical Altercation with OK Trooper Leads to 80 Kilo
Marijuana Seizure and Lands Pennsylvania Man in Prison For 4+ Years

FEB 01 -- MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - Sheldon J. Sperling, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that ELVIN CLIFFORD WATKINS, age 48, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania was sentenced for Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C).

“WATKINS was sentenced to 57 months imprisonment, 36 months supervised release, and ordered to pay a Special Assessment of $100.00,” stated U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling.

“Charges arose from an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.  The offense took place on August 13, 2007, in Sequoyah County. WATKINS possessed in excess of 80 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to distribute,” stated U.S. Attorney Sperling.

“An alert Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper stopped WATKINS on I-40 in Sequoyah County for following a semi-truck too closely.  The defendant failed to comply with the trooper’s lawful instructions.  A serious physical struggle followed.”

“Good Samaritan citizens entered the fray, on the side of the law.  The defendant was restrained and arrested.  In this case, as in the song, the defendant fought the law – and the law won.”

“A subsequent search of the 2007 Dodge Charger driven by WATKINS, yielded approximately 184 pounds of marijuana.  WATKINS ultimately admitted he was taking the marijuana to Pennsylvania for delivery,” U.S. Attorney Sperling commented.             

“The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, presided over today’s sentencing.  The defendant’s sentence was enhanced for attempting to mislead a U.S. Probation Officer regarding defendant’s arrest history.  The court found that the defendant thereby attempted to obstruct the administration of justice.”

“Judge White ordered the defendant to remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal to begin serving his sentence.”

“AUSA Linda A. Epperley and FAUSA/Criminal Chief Doug Horn admirably represented the United States in this case.”  We were reminded, again today, of the remarkable job our Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers do to protect us in a variety of ways, and the dangers they face on a daily basis.”

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