Double Homicide Suspect Charged With Drug Crime
An Austin man with alleged ties to a double homicide has been charged with a drug crime, announced Special Agent in Charge Eduardo A. Chávez
Fernando Molina, 38, was charged via criminal complaint on Feb. 16 and indicted this week, charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
According to the complaint, the charges stemmed from an investigation into a drug-related double homicide perpetrated in Parker County, Texas on April 11, 2021. Two weeks after the killings, investigators raided the residence of Mr. Molina’s associate, Jerome Thomas Watkins, and seized more than 3,000 fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills, multiple firearms, and roughly 20 cell phones that allegedly contained evidence of fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin trafficking.
According to the complaint, a search of those phones revealed text message conversations with a drug supplier saved in the phone under the name “Austin.” Investigators eventually traced “Austin’s” multiple phone numbers to Mr. Molina. One of Mr. Molina’s phones was the last device in contact with a homicide victims before his death; another pinged cell towers in close proximity to the crime scene at the time of the homicide, according to the complaint.
Parker County has charged Mr. Molina with conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the double homicide.
A criminal complaint is merely an allegation of criminal conduct, not evidence. Mr. Molina is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If convicted, he faces life in federal prison.
Mr. Molina’s associate, Mr. Watkins, was convicted at trial in November 2021 of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He is set to be sentenced later this month.
The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Dallas Field Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Dallas Field Office – Fort Worth Resident Agency, the Parker County Sheriff’s Office, and the Pflugerville Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit conducted the investigation, which was classified a HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) operation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Smith is prosecuting the case.