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Area man charged with crack conspiracy

LINDEN &8212; As the result of an investigation spanning more than a year, a Marengo County man is in custody for his involvement in a crack cocaine conspiracy, Marengo County Sheriff Jesse Langley confirmed Wednesday.

Johnny Charles Watkins, Jr., aka &8220;Hawk&8221; was indicted by a federal grand jury in Mobile on Monday.

According to a Department of Justice release, Watkins was indicted &8220;in a six count indictment for one count of conspiracy to posses with the intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of Title 21 USC $846 and five separate counts of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine in violation of Title 21 USC $841(a) (1).

The conspiracy count in the indictment charges an amount of crack cocaine in excess of 50 grams (1.76 ounces) which triggers a 10 year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for Watkins with a maximum term of life imprisonment, pursuant Title 21, USC $841 (b)(1)(A). Parole has been abolished in the federal criminal justice system.

The case is being jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, Enforcement Division and the Marengo County Sheriff&8217;s Office.&8221;