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Paroled Athens convict arrested on gun, drug charges after allegedly driving motorcycle recklessly

Dan Tanner Watkins

By Joe Johnson

A paroled felon was arrested on gun and drug charges this week by an officer who followed the offender’s motorcycle that reportedly flew by him at an estimated speed of 85 mph, according to an Athens-Clarke County police report.

The officer was parked at Oglethorpe Avenue Elementary School at about 11 p.m. Monday when 40-year-old Dan Tanner Watkins reportedly raced by him in a 35-mph speed zone.

“I believed the driver was traveling at such a high rate of speed that they were a danger to the public,” the officer wrote in the report.

The officer gave chase and caught up to Watkins as the biker was pulling into a Shell gas station on Tallassee Road, where the officer confronted Watkins, who was carrying a backpack, according to the report.

Watkins was arrested after a computer check revealed that his license had been suspended for failure to pay child support, the report noted.

When the officer searched Watkins, he found a straw containing a white powdery substance and a THC oil vaping pen, and in the backpack he located a 9mm pistol with a loaded magazine and an oxycodone pill, according to the report.

Watkins’ criminal history showed that he was convicted of cruelty to children in 2003. The police report noted.

Additionally, the Georgia Department of Corrections website indicates that Watkins was paroled from prison in February 2019 for a possession of marijuana conviction in Clarke County.

Watkins was charged with reckless driving, driving while license suspended, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of Schedule I and II controlled substances, improper display of license plate, possession of drug-related objects, possession of prescription drugs outside of the original container.

The Rear Ach Street resident was being held without bail at the county jail because the state Board of Pardons and Paroles placed a hold on his release.

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