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    Leesburg man denies involvement in drug case

    Thomas Watson


    A Leesburg man accused of receiving drugs through the mail says he never had them sent to him and tried to send them back,

    Thomas Watson, 41, was arrested March 19 at 9 p.m. after a package containing 10 oxycodone pills and 8.5 grams of MDMA was delivered to his home on the 400 block of Davis Avenue SW.

    According to Leesburg Police Lt. Jeff Dube, the department, in conjunction with U.S. Postal Inspectors, was investigating the package, though Dube could not state for how long nor the origin of the package. Dube said that when Watson accepted the package, police executed a search warrant and seized the drugs.

    But Watson's friends and family, and Watson himself, say he never ordered anything or even opened the package.

    “He did not accept the packages - in fact he rejected them. He wrote on the packages 'Return to Sender' and 'Wrong Recipient.' They were placed in his car to take to the Post Office for return,” said Marilyn Rust, who is acting as Watson's spokesperson, in a written statement. “It was the police who opened the package.”

    The Watson camp believe someone shipped drugs to Watson's home and failed to intercept the drugs before they were delivered.

    “This nightmare could happen to any of us,” Rust said.

    The Leesburg Police Department would not comment on whether or not “return to sender” was written on the package, saying the case is still under investigation. They do, however, say that Watson “accepted” the packed.

    Watson is a successful small business owner, founding Capital Computers and Network, an IT company, in 2002. The business earned accolades around the county, receiving Leesburg's Community Steward award and being nominated for the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce's best small business award. Up until his arrest, Watson had served on the Town of Leesburg's Technology and Communication Commission as chairman. His arrest prompted Leesburg mayor Kristen Umstattd to propose felony background checks for all potential commission appointees, also requiring nominees to fill out a questionnaire on criminal history.

    Watson had previously been found guilty of assault in 1995 in Tuscon.

    Watson's preliminary hearing will be May 22 in the general district court.


    Comments

    Amen, UVAGirl! As a friend of Tom’s, I also can attest to your comment. You hit the proverbial nail on the head.


    Diokan, Cheye Calvo is who I thought of also.


    Assuming that Mr. Watson was set up, I hope he is not muscled into a plea deal. If the LTM reader comments on this article and the one that preceded it are any indication, this case just oozes “reasonable doubt.”


    @Diokan—that’s exactly the case I was thinking of; it happened in MD in 2008.  In that case, the county sheriff’s SWAT unit stormed into Mr. Calvo’s home WITHOUT a proper warrant and shot his family’s two dogs, and held him at gunpoint.


    Drug dealers have been known to send packages to addresses, hoping to retrieve them before the homeowner does. Just a year ago, woman from Plymouth, MA sued FedEx, claiming the company put her safety at risk and violated her privacy.  A package containing several pounds of marijuana mistakenly arrived at her doorstep, a package she thought was a birthday present for her daughter. “There were candles, pixie sticks and peppermint, and something we thought was potpourri,” but the vacuum packed bags beneath were narcotics and Plymouth police called the company to flag the package saying the recipient could be a risk. But an hour later, the woman says a man was knocking at her front door looking for the package, with two other men sitting in a vehicle in her driveway. She says FedEx gave away her address, and led the suspected dealers to her house.

    The above is a nightmare situation which no family would want.  I recall another case where a family—I believe this was local—retrieved such a package from their front door step only to find a swat team in their house.  It was determined that they had not ordered the package of drugs, that their address was used by drug dealers, but not before the family was traumatized and the family dog was killed by the LCOs.

    I retrieve all packages left on our doorstep. If it doesn’t appear to be something I ordered, I simply take it back to the post office, or the entity by which it was shipped, and return it to the sender unopened.

    Unfortunately, Mr. Watson’s has a prior assault charge, but nothing more.  We just have to let this play out.  I sincerely hope that if this was a set-up that the truth comes out and Mr. Watson is cleared.


    I agree it seems fishy. Not only does mail get delivered throughout the afternoon on Davis but it is any one of a dozen people from the USPS doing the delivery. Being retired I am often home and just walk out and ask the delivery person for my mail.  They always just hand it over without any checking of who I am.  If someone wanted to pickup someone else’s mail/packages it certainly would not be hard.  I have called for years that there be a neighborhood watch program on Davis and surrounding streets. I think now is the time we make it happen.


    Obama takes down another small business owner.

    Why does he hate capitalism!!  These guys who buy illegal drugs are the engine of our economy.


    Sounds like the Cheye Calvo case.


    This whole thing (as reported anyway) is alarmingly Orwellian. Any of us could end up an unwitting recipient of an illegal package - which apparently means crucifixion by the media and premature conviction by the court of public opinion. Where is the presumption of innocence to which everyone is entitled? 

    Anyone who knows Tom, even just casually as I happen to, knows that he is very serious about 2 things: his body and his business.  He doesn’t even drink alcohol,eats a clean/organic diet, and avoids even sugar. The idea that he would put these synthetic toxins into his body is difficult enough to believe, but beyond that, the idea that he would risk his entire business, financial future, and very freedom over a handful of pills he’d surreptitiously mailed to himself would be laughable were it not such a serious charge.  A person would have to be downright stupid to use the USPS for shipping/receiving illegal narcotics; a successful, well-educated IT entrepreneur is unlikely to be that stupid. The judicial system will be the ultimate arbiter, but in the meantime, imagine the impact on life & livelihood of allegations like this, particularly if they are false. May we all be more careful about bringing any packages inside, lest they land us on the front page!


    The more I think about this the fishier it gets. We normally get mail until 4-4:30 PM on Davis Ave.

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