ROCKFORD —A Rockford man was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey on a federal drug conspiracy charge.
TYSHON T. WATSON (also known as "TY"), 24, was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Watson pleaded guilty on June 28, 2019, to conspiring to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Larry L. Lapp, acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; Dan O’Shea, Chief of the Rockford Police Department; and Gary Caruana, Winnebago County Sheriff. The federal investigation was conducted by the FBI-led Rockford Area Violent Gang Task Force, which includes the above agencies as well as the Loves Park and Freeport Police Departments. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives also assisted in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Talia Bucci.
In a written plea agreement, Watson admitted that he worked for a drug-trafficking conspiracy distributing heroin to street-level customers in the Rockford area on a daily basis between May 2017 and November 2, 2017. Watson began selling approximately five grams of heroin per week for the conspiracy, and his heroin sales later increased to approximately ten grams of heroin per day. As part of the conspiracy, Watson and his co-conspirator shared a phone that was used to arrange heroin sales, and they warned each other about potential police surveillance in areas where they were conducting drug trafficking.
On the day of Watson’s arrest in November 2017, Watson possessed 63 baggies of heroin that he intended to distribute to the conspiracy’s street-level customers. Watson at times also distributed heroin to the conspiracy’s larger-quantity customers who were heroin dealers themselves. Watson admitted that the conspiracy distributed or possessed with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin.