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Car ride results in three months in prison for Iowa woman


This news story was published on May 9, 2019.
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CEDAR RAPIDS – A Cedar Rapids woman who gave a fugitive a car ride to a hotel was sentenced today to three months in federal prison.  Saudia Raquel Watkins, age 28, received the prison term after a November 7, 2018, guilty plea to one count of Misprision of a Felony.

In a plea agreement, Watkins admitted that, in November 2016, she provided a car ride to Kelsey Beckett, a federal fugitive felon, to a local motel.  Watkins put the motel room in her name.  A Deputy U.S. Marshal had warned Watkins in August 2016 that Beckett was a fugitive and that Watkins should contact the Deputy U.S. Marshal if she learned of Beckett’s whereabouts.  The Deputy U.S. Marshal also told Watkins there could be criminal charges if she did not do so.  Instead of contacting the Deputy U.S. Marshal, Watkins gave Beckett a ride to the motel and smoked marijuana with Beckett in the motel room.

Watkins was released pending her sentencing.  In November 2018, after she pled guilty, Watkins tested positive for using marijuana.  She then became a fugitive herself.  U.S. Marshals apprehended Watkins in February 2018, after nearly two months on the lam.

Watkins was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Watkins was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.  She must also serve a one-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.  Watkins is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Vavricek and investigated by the U.S. Marshal’s Service.

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