PARKER COUNTY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Jerome Thomas Watkins, 44, of Whitt has been convicted of drug trafficking and illegal gun possession charges after his arrest in April 2021.
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The US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Texas announced that Watkins was convicted by a federal jury 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.
The convictions stem from a complex investigation earlier this year that culminated in Watkins’ arrest on April 26 after Parker County Sheriffs searched his home in the 4200 block of North FM 52 in Whitt.
Parker County Sheriff Russ Authier said that due to the vast and complex nature of the investigation, multiple state and federal agencies were involved as well. These agencies included the Texas Rangers, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.READ MORE: Shooting Leaves 1 Dead, Multiple Injured In Fort Worth
While searching Watkins’ home, law enforcement officers seized over 4,000 pills laced with fentanyl, methamphetamine and heroin along with seven firearms. Authorities also found approximately $17,000 in cash, a stolen trailer, 390 grams of Oxycodone pills and a narcotics ledger.
Several cell phones were also seized from the home, many of which contained evidence of Watkins’ extensive drug trafficking activites.
Sheriff Authier also said that 11 dogs being kept in cruel conditions were found in Watkins’ residence. They were surrendered to the Sheriff’s Animal Control Officers.
Watkins was previously convicted in 1996 after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, when he was sentenced to 72 months in federal prison. He was also sentenced to 135 months in 2002 after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.MORE NEWS: 'It Was Really Terrifying' Congregation Beth Israel Members React To Hostage Situation
According to the US DOJ, Watkins faces a minimum of 25-years and up to life in prison for his current charges. His sentencing hearing is scheduled March 18, 2022.