U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Texas
For Immediate Release
October 16, 2009
John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney
Daryl Fields, Public Information Officer
Luling Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Selling Firearms Without A License
John E. Murphy, Acting United States Attorney, announced that in Austin this morning 58-year-old Alfred Dwight Watkins of Luling, Texas, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison for dealing firearms without a license.
In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Sam Sparks ordered that Watkins pay a $11,232 fine and be placed under supervised release for a period of three years after completing his prison term.
By pleading guilty in August, Watkins admitted that after letting his federal firearms license expire in 2003, he continued to sell a revolving inventory of firearms at area gun shows. An investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents confirmed that Watkins was buying and selling firearms at Austin and San Antonio gun shows from January to March of 2009. According to court documents, Watkins deliberately misinformed customers, telling them that no paper work was required for transactions in an effort to “flip” more firearms. Watkins also admitted that during a gun show in February 2009, he sold a firearm for $600 to a person who is lawfully prohibited from possessing a firearm.
In addition, during this investigation ATF agents were able to link a firearm recovered from the Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico to Watkins. Watkins admitted that he purchased the firearm from another seller approximately three weeks before authorities in Mexican authorities recovered it in November 2008.
On March 31, 2009, ATF agents executed a search warrant at Watkins’s residence and seized 65 firearms, including a dozen assault rifles, plus approximately 59,000 rounds of ammunition. As part of his guilty plea, Watkins agreed to forfeit to the government all of the firearms and ammunition seized by federal authorities.
Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Freel prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.