A Hinesburg man, with a long criminal record and a history of battling with police, has been arrested on a new federal crack cocaine charge in South Burlington, according to U.S. District Court records.
Investigators said they needed to use Tasers to stun Marcus Watkins, 35, when he became combative after a traffic stop at Kennedy Drive near Hinesburg Road on Monday afternoon, May 25.
Watkins, who has four earlier felony convictions – three for drugs and one for possession of a loaded firearm – told police he was unwilling to go back to prison when crack cocaine was found in the car, records show.
Watkins, the lone occupant, tried to walk away but was taken into custody after a struggle, police said.
He is now facing a felony charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base.
Police said drugs were found on him, in his car and were shed by him in the police cruiser, at the Burlington Police station and at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans.
The several bags weighed about 12.5 grams of cocaine, police said.
Watkins admitted he had used cocaine, heroin and marijuana before his arrest, a court affidavit said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Conroy ordered Watkins held Tuesday afternoon, May 26, pending resolution of his case. Conroy ruled Watkins was both a danger to the community and a risk to flee.
A preliminary hearing for Watkins is scheduled for June 5.
Watkins’ criminal record includes felony drug convictions in 2010, 2012 and 2017, records show. He was released from prison Sept. 12, 2019, after serving a 3-year sentence for possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
Watkins was still on federal supervised release when arrested in South Burlington, officials said.
Burlington Police said in court papers they learned Monday morning Watkins was at an apartment at 695 Dorset St. in South Burlington and was believed to be in possession of controlled substances.
Watkins’ 2006 Land Rover was parked in the lot and at about 12:15 p.m. he was seen driving away, according to a detective assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force.
The vehicle was later stopped for having no inspection sticker, records show. When asked for proof of insurance, Watkins said it was in the backseat and he mentioned he had an airsoft gun inside the vehicle, a court affidavit said.
The smell of marijuana was evident, an affidavit said, and Watkins agreed to a police search of the vehicle. When a plastic bag with a white substance was found on the floor, Watkins denied it belonged to him, police said. Two baggies with suspected marijuana also were found, police said.
When told he was under arrest, Watkins objected and three officers “had to use significant physical force to detain Watkins,” police said in an affidavit.
He tried to reach into his groin area and police believed he might have a weapon, police said.
Investigators later found $8,610 in his left front pocket
When he arrived at the Burlington Police station, a baggie with more white substances was found and Watkins tried to destroy it by stepping on it, Detective Dwayne Mellis reported.
Watkins declined medical treatment when Burlington Rescue responded to the police station.
He told investigators that he sells a fake cocaine substitute, but nobody dares to fight him because of his size.
The prosecution, in its motion seeking detention, said Watkins has a long history of resisting arrest and attempting to flee from law enforcement. During a 2009 arrest a Taser was used to subdue him while he tried to flush drugs down a toilet, the motion said.
During a 2010 case Watkins tried to elude police by requiring a pursuit, the motion said. He fled again in his car from police in a 2016 case, bailed from the vehicle and was pulled off a chain link fence, the prosecution noted.