Detroit man sentenced for role in fentanyl trafficking in northern Minnesota

A Detroit, Mich., man was recently sentenced for his role in a fentanyl trafficking operation based in Bemidji that targeted the Red Lake Nation.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 34-year-old Scot Watkins, Jr., conspired with others to distribute fentanyl pills, methamphetamine, and cocaine to individuals from the Red Lake Reservation.

Court documents say Watkins and co-defendants 32-year-old Douglas McClendon and 41-year-old Christopher Richard obtained the drugs from suppliers in Detroit, then traveled to Bemidji to sell the drugs.

On March 12, 2021, law enforcement executed a search warrant at a Bemidji hotel, where agents seized 174 grams of fentanyl, 37 grams of methamphetamine, and other controlled substances.

As law enforcement entered the room, Watkins and McClendon fled while Richard flushed a significant amount of fentanyl down a toilet.

Watkins was sentenced to five years in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release.

McClendon and Richard were similarly sentenced earlier this year.

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