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Press Release

Detroit Man Sentenced to Prison for Fentanyl Trafficking on the Red Lake Reservation

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

MINNEAPOLIS – A Detroit man has been sentenced to five years in prison followed by four years of supervised release for his role in a fentanyl trafficking operation targeting the Red Lake Reservation, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in March 2021, Scot Lamonte Watkins, Jr., 34, conspired with others to distribute fentanyl pills, methamphetamine, and cocaine to individuals from the Red Lake Reservation. Watkins, along with co-defendants Douglas Edward McClendon, 32, and Christopher Douglas Richard, 41, obtained fentanyl and other drugs from suppliers in Detroit and then traveled to Bemidji, Minnesota, to sell the drugs. In a text message between the co-defendants, Watkins was told, “Oh yeah we do got something for ya cum down in get yo dope and sell it playa.”

According to court documents, the defendants conducted their drug distribution operation out of various Bemidji-area hotels. On March 12, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a hotel where the defendants were selling drugs. As a result of the search, law enforcement agents recovered more than 174 grams of fentanyl, 37 grams of methamphetamine, and other controlled substances. As law enforcement entered the hotel room, Watkins and McClendon fled while Richard flushed a significant amount of fentanyl down the toilet.

On March 13, 2023, Watkins plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and other controlled substances. Watkins was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Nancy E. Brasel. Restitution was also ordered as part of Watkins’ sentence.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, the FBI Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura M. Provinzino.

Updated June 30, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Drug Trafficking