Up until September 16, Gary Robert Watson was living pretty large. He had the swanky condo in the Sawyer Heights development overlooking the Heights Target. Every day he drove a 2006 Bentley into the garage, and on his thick wrist the giant of a man rocked a $3K Breitling.
His job was a breeze. In fact, if police are to be believed, he more or less worked from home. Well, close to home, anyway....
After receiving a tip that Watson was moving large amounts of cocaine, police got wind of a deal that was about to go down in the parking lot of the Target a couple of hundred yards from where Watson laid his head. They put his loft under surveillance and watched as he walked out of his building one day with a backpack slung over his shoulder.
Watson walked across the bike trail and the parking lot to a truck in which Joseph Perez, an oft-convicted drug dealer, was waiting. Watson got in and made what looked to police like a drug deal. As soon as he got out, they swooped in and detained him for pre-existing warrants -- one for pot possession and the other for engaging in organized criminal activity. Perez was also taken into custody.
Inside Watson's backpack police allegedly found more than nine ounces of cocaine in clear plastic bags, a digital scale and a bowl dusted with cocaine residue. Perez was found to have a shade more than $5,000 in his possession.
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Watson gave police written consent to search his residence. There on the kitchen island they found a partially filled-out 2010 IRS tax return. "It was fake," Watson told them. (And late at that...)
Both Perez and Watson were charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. Each of them has hired top-shelf defense attorneys: Perez has gone with Jed Silverman, while Watson has opted for Robert Scardino.
And the State of Texas has moved to seize all the cash from the alleged drug deal and Watson's Bentley and Breitling, too.
Back in 2007, police raided Perez's northwest Houston home and seized a cornucopia that would have kept even the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson occupied for a while: 88 pounds of weed, 115 ounces of cocaine, 23.5 grams of meth, more than a pound of ecstasy, 200 hits of LSD and $2000 cash. Perez was sentenced to seven years in TDCJ for that bust, but obviously did not serve all that time.