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Press Release

Boston Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A Boston man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, cocaine and cocaine base (crack cocaine).

Josiah Watkins, 26, pleaded guilty on Nov. 28, 2022 to one count of conspiracy to distribute, and possess with intent to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, 28 grams or more of cocaine base and cocaine. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 28, 2023. Watkins was arrested and charged in April 2021.

In February 2021, law enforcement opened an investigation into drug trafficking activities conducted by Watkins and, allegedly, his co-defendant London Lee. The investigation revealed that Watkins and his co-defendant were actively selling cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl in the Boston area. Between February and April 2021, Watkins sold or arranged the sale of crack cocaine and fentanyl in at least 10 separate controlled purchases. His co-defendant has pleaded not guilty and is pending trial.

The charge of conspiracy to distribution of 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and conspiracy to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base provide for a sentence of at least five years and up to 40 years in prison, at least four years of supervised release and a fine of up to $5 million. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. Dawley, Jr. of the Organized Crime & Gang Unit is prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated November 30, 2022

Drug Trafficking