Local man sentenced for dealing carfentanil-laced heroin, plotting to murder witness

A local man was sentenced Wednesday for dealing heroin laced with carfentanil and also attempting to murder a witness.

Thirty-four-year-old Phillip Watkins was sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Department of Justice said Watkins was conspiring to distribute the drug with others in 2016 from a home in Elmwood Place. Carfentanil is an animal tranquilizer that is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.

United States Attorney of the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin Glassman's office said users suffered both fatal and non-fatal overdoses due to this mixture.

Watkins was arrested and indicted in September 2016. While awaiting trail, Watkins reportedly heard a witness would potentially testify against him in the case. He then arranged to have that person killed, but law enforcement stopped the plan before it could happen, and Watkins was indicted with witness tampering in March 2017.

“There is no deadlier poison than carfentanil. In dealing that drug, Watkins showed a disregard for human life, which he then confirmed by plotting to have the witness against him killed,” U.S. Attorney Glassman said. “His 300-month sentence is a fitting punishment and will keep the community safe. I commend all of the law enforcement agencies participating in the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force. Their incredibly nimble work made this case possible. Enforcement efforts like these are a big part of turning the tide against synthetic opioids in Ohio.”

This was the first federally indicted carfentanil prosecution in the country.

Published by https://local12.com

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