ATF

Sample Block


Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

District of South Carolina

www.justice.gov/usao/sc

For Immediate Release

June 30, 2011

Bill Nettles, United States Attorney

Contact: Jay N. Richardson
(803) 929-3000
jay.n.richardson@usdoj.gov

Shooter Watkins Sentenced to 262 Months in ATF Firearm Investigation

Columbia, South Carolina – United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated today that Kenneth Lavar Watkins, a/k/a Shooter, age 25, was sentenced in federal court in Columbia, South Carolina, for possession with intent to distribute heroin (in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offenses (in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 924(c)). United States District Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr. of Columbia sentenced Watkins to more than 21 years (262 months) of imprisonment to be followed by 6 years of supervised release.

Evidence presented established that Watkins distributed heroin in exchange for firearms. As part of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Watkins attempted to acquire an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9mm handgun from an ATF confidential informant. Watkins exchanged both cash and heroin for the weapons. After the transaction, ATF agents conducting surveillance arrested Watkins in possession of the firearms.

The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and was prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state and local Project Cease Fire initiative, which aggressively prosecutes firearm cases. Assistant United States Attorney Jay N. Richardson of the Columbia office handled the case.

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