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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Fort Worth Jury Convicts Whitt Drug Trafficker

A longtime drug dealer has been convicted of drug and gun crimes, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.

Following a two-day trial, 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.

According to evidence presented at trial, officers executed a search warrant at Mr. Watkins’ residence on April 26. Inside, they found more than 4,000 pills laced with fentanyl, methamphetamine, and heroin, along with seven firearms and approximately $17,000 in cash.

They also seized roughly 20 phones, 11 of which were linked to the defendant and contained evidence of his extensive drug trafficking activities.

Mr. Watkins had previously been convicted of two drug crimes: in 1996, he pleaded guilty to possession of intent to distribute crack cocaine and was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison, and in 2002, he pleaded guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 135 months in federal prison.

While the jury convicted Mr. Watkins of three crimes on Tuesday, they acquitted him of a fourth crime, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Mr. Watkins now faces 25 years to life in federal prison. His sentencing has been set for March 18.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office, Fort Worth Resident Agency, and the Parker County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives’ Dallas Field Division and the Benbrook Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Montes and Shawn Smith prosecuted the case. U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor presided over the trial.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Contact: 
Erin Dooley Press Offier 214-659-8707 erin.dooley@usdoj.gov
Updated November 16, 2021