CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte has convicted Kenneth Jerome Watkins, 37, of Atlanta, Georgia, of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute Eutylone, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Conrad Jr. presided over the three-day trial, which ended yesterday.
According to filed court documents and evidence presented at trial, Watkins along with his co-defendant, Steven Lamar Cloud, and others, was involved in a conspiracy to traffic Eutylone. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Eutylone is a schedule I synthetic cathinone, marketed by drug dealers as MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly) and it is frequently abused by youths and young adults. In August and October 2020, Watkins arranged to supply Cloud with pills containing Eutylone. As trial evidence established, Cloud arranged for drug couriers to travel to Atlanta to pick up the pills from Watkins. On October 24, 2020, a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle driven by one of Cloud’s couriers who was returning to Charlotte. Over the course of the traffic stop, the trooper seized over five pounds of pills and more than $4,000 in cash.
Watkins is currently in federal custody. The charge of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute Eutylone carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. A sentencing date for Watkins has not been set. Cloud has also pleaded guilty to federal drug offenses and he is awaiting sentencing.
This case is the result of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles criminal organizations using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and the Georgia State Patrol for the investigation and coordination in this case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte is in charge of the prosecution.