Carthage man pleads guilty in first federal carfentanil trafficking case
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A Carthage man pleaded guilty to dealing heroin laced with carfentanil and conspiring to kill a witness in his case, which is the first federal carfentanil trafficking case in the country. Phillip Watkins, 32, faces up to 25 years in prison when he's sentenced.
Watkins was one of two arrests linked to a spike in heroin overdoses in August of 2016. According to US Attorney Benjamin Glassman, carfentanil-laced heroin sold by Phillips in Elmwood Place led to overdoses. Some of them were fatal.
While waiting to go on trial, Watkins learned of a potential witness against him. Glassman said Watkins arranged to have the witness killed. Investigators learned of the plot and stopped it before the murder could take place.
A grand jury added witness tampering to the charges Watkins already faced.
“This is the first federal carfentanil trafficking case in the country,” Glassman said. “Thanks to the diligent work of federal, state and local law enforcement, a peddler of deadly poison who was willing to murder those who would provide evidence against him is now off the street.”
Jeanetta Crawford was indicted with Watkins. She'll be back in court no Sept.. 29.