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May 10, 2017

Catlett heroin dealer gets 30-year prison sentence

Ellis Watson, 69, of District Heights, Md., on Tuesday got a 30-year prison sentence, with half of that term suspended.
A second man involved in a “large-scale heroin ring” near Catlett will spend 15 years in prison.

Fauquier County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker on Tuesday sentenced Ellis Watson to 30 years and suspended half of that term. Upon his release, the 69-year-old Mr. Watson will be placed on 10 years of supervised probation.

Facing five to 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine, the District Heights, Md., man in February pleaded guilty to a felony count of possession with the intent to distribute the drug.

As part of the plea agreement, Judge Parker dismissed a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute the drug against Mr. Watson.

Investigators in February 2016 focused on a home on Overbrook Drive near Catlett and made “multiple controlled purchases of heroin” there, according to the Fauquier sheriff’s office. Authorities seized approximately 100 grams of heroin.

The investigation also led to the arrest of Dwight Williams, 55, of Washington, D.C., and Bryant Banks, 42, formerly of Overbrook Drive, Catlett.

Mr. Williams pleaded guilty to one felony count of heroin distribution. Judge Parker last November sentenced him to 30 years in prison, suspending 15 of those years. Upon his release, he will be placed on 10 years of supervised probation.

Both Mr. Watson and Mr. Williams have extensive criminal records.

Mr. Banks faces two felony counts of drug distribution. He also faces a felony count of failure to appear to appear for a Nov. 9 trial.

In March, authorities in Maine arrested Mr. Banks, who remains in the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center at Winchester.

A raid of the Catlett home last February also netted more than $100,000 in cash, “tied to the distribution of heroin and cocaine,” according to the sheriff’s office. “Additional investigation into these proceeds of distribution and the execution of a search warrant at a safe deposit box at a Warrenton bank led to the discovery of over $80,000 in U.S. currency.” 

The investigation “targeted a major source of heroin coming into Fauquier County from Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland,” Sheriff Bob Mosier said last August in press release.

Sheriff Mosier called it one of the biggest drug busts in county history.
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