A Davenport man who reportedly stopped an attempted suicide while in federal custody will now spend 20 years of his life in prison for a drug conviction.

U.S. District Judge John Jarvey sentenced Aaron Deshawn Watson, 33, on Friday after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine.

Watson admitted to his involvement in a five-year drug conspiracy in which he received and distributed 1,400 pounds of marijuana, according to records.

The conspiracy involved Tyrell Carr, Josh Fifer, Juan Pizano and Gilberto Duarte, all of whom have been convicted on drug charges and sentenced to prison.

At some point during the conspiracy, Carr received as much as 600 pounds of marijuana per week and sold the some of the drugs to Watson, who resold the drugs to multiple customers throughout the Quad-Cities, including Fifer, records state.

Pizano and Duarte were additional sources of marijuana for Watson, records state.

Watson’s conviction carries a mandatory minimum 20-year prison sentence due to a prior drug conviction.

On Dec. 27, 2008, he pleaded guilty in Scott County to possession of a controlled substance and was given a suspended sentence in favor of three years of probation.

His attorney, Jack Dusthimer, wrote in his sentencing memorandum that while in custody at the Muscatine County Jail, Watson played a “significant” role in stopping an attempted suicide and was cited by jail staff for his efforts to save the life.

(4) comments

josh j fifer

i am josh fifer and aaron is my friend i have almost completed my time i am on home confinement. i did not have any prior drug convictions and i was indicted long before aaron was. being locked up changed my life around for the better and i wouldn't take it back even though i have to live my life with the stigma of an ex con and all that comes with it. i don't believe that aaron deserved this much time if any at all i am sorry for those who might disagree but i knew the man personally i don't agree with the judicial system's approach to the"war on drugs" i know there is a better way. aaron is a good person he wouldn't hurt a fly he wasn't a monster or a rapist or a murderer he is a father a human being and our just system has forgotten what it means to be a human being they have become desensitized to the reality of the negative impact that the draconian outdated and ignorant drug laws have on the people of this country and society as a whole this stuff needs to stop. And aaron needs to go home to his family and not in 20 years give him a chance to rehabilitate himself and let him go why did the federal prison system take the parole system out not because they wanted to help people change but because they have a vested interest in the perpetuation of criminal activity the bottom line is the judicial system feeds off the war on drugs they don't want drugs legalized and neither do the drug kingpins they have almost exactly the same interests in this war they need each other lets stop this madness we are spending billions of dollars in taxpayers money every year to lock up neighborhood pot dealer and because of insanity like that real criminals run free so that they can pack prisons with weed dealers so don't wonder why it takes longer to get on plane, or the blue angels don't fly at your next air show etc. etc. they spent it all on locking up a pot dealer don't wonder why they will build ten prisons and one school and the prisons will be better funded oh and lets not even get into private prisons and that whole ball of wax i mean really lets see how much we can make off of the incarceration of human beings if you want the governments dirty laundry on all of this stuff it is easy to find they don't hide there ignorance, corruption, and insanity if you know were and what to look for it is all out there this is a fact. i would bet my life on it that i am right and they are wrong i apologize for my rant but this is just how i really feel i believe there are plenty of good people in law enforcement and they should be respected but the system itself is misguided and is in desperate need of an overhaul it is truely makeing a mockery out of justice in america. in closing i just want to say that i won't forget about aaron i will do what i can to change our justice system for the better and bring him home to his family were he belongs take care my friend you are not forgotten


A person who hurts a child or rapes a child does not get 20 years in prison. This is B.S. How many times have we seen someone kill someone else driving drunk and they don't get 20 years for taking a life. This is not a 20 year state sentence, it's fed time. Willful Injury charge doesn't get a person 20 years. then to make matters worse, it's weed he was selling! Are you kidding me?


20 years for coke and weed welcome to North Korea Iowa Sucks


Legally regulated (manufacture, distribution and consumption) of marijuana is coming to a state near you in 2013:


“These laws just don't make sense anymore. It’s shocking, from my perspective, the number of people that we all know who are recreational marijuana users… these are incredibly upstanding citizens: Leaders in our community, and exceptional people.”
—Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom (preparing the way for Governor Jerry Brown to initiate proceedings to legalize and regulate marijuana through the state legislature)


On January 18th, 2012, House Speaker Joseph Souki and majority leader Scott Saiki introduced legislation that would allow people 21 or older to buy possess and consume small amounts of marijuana for personal use. The bill also authorizes marijuana retail stores and cultivation, manufacturing, and testing facilities.

Recent polls show that Hawaii residents are increasingly in favor of ending cannabis prohibition, the most recent found that 57% of Hawaii voters believe marijuana should be regulated, taxed, and legal for adults.


Maine's legislature is moving on a legalization-and-regulation bill that could bring the state $8 million a year in new revenue.

''The people are far ahead of the politicians on this. Just in the past few weeks we've seen the culture shift dramatically.''
—Rep. Diane Russell of Portland, District 120 (Occupation: Public Relations Consultant)


"Today, marijuana possession is the number one arrest in New York City." citing the harmful outcomes of these arrests – racial disparities, stigma, fiscal waste, criminalization – and calling on the legislature to act:  “It’s not fair, it’s not right. It must end, and it must end now.”
—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo


"Thinking we're not going to have it is unrealistic. It's just a question of how and when"
—Assemblyman Richard (Tick) Segerblom of Las Vegas, elected to the Nevada State Senate in 2012


"We have decades of evidence that says prohibition does not work and it's counterproductive. it's a matter of dollars and common sense. There's a source of revenue that's reasonable that is rational that is the right policy choice for our state. We are going to get there on legalization."
—Peter Buckley, co-chair of the Oregon state legislature's budget committee.


“Like alcohol, legalization and regulation will make marijuana safer. Each year we not only waste a similar amount ($325.36 million), we leave several hundred million dollars on the table in taxes that we do not collect because marijuana is illegal, rather than regulated and taxed. This horrific policy must end. It is a moral imperative that Pennsylvania wakes up and ends prohibition now.”
—Democrat State Sen. Daylin Leach, while announcing plans to introduce legislation that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.


Rhode Island is also expected to legally regulate marijuana through the state legislature instead of a popular referendum.

''Our prohibition has failed, Legalizing and taxing it, just as we did to alcohol, is the way to do it.''
—Rep. Edith Ajello, chairs the House Committee on Judiciary and is a member of the House Oversight Committee.


Two bills that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana have recently been introduced in both houses of the Vermont legislature. The Senate bill (#48) would decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of pot by those 21 and over, while the more far-reaching House bill (#200) would decriminalize the possession of up to two ounces and the cultivation of to two mature and seven immature marijuana plants. In November 2012, the state's Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, cruised to re-election while strongly backing marijuana decriminalization.


Most Alaskans already have a clear view of things from their own back garden. Personal use and possession of Marijuana in Alaskan homes has been effectively legal since 1975.

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