The cannabis started to accumulate in his closet, but Cejus Watson did not smoke weed.
Watson said he’d receive one to two jars of cannabis for free when he worked security on the weekends at a dispensary in Washington, D.C. He said he was “medically suspended” at the time from the Baltimore Police Department and waiting to retire after hurting his left Achilles tendon.
So when a customer at his tattoo shop in Baltimore County asked about buying weed, Watson said, he agreed to sell it to him. But it turned out that he was a confidential informant.
“It was an isolated incident,” said Watson, who resigned earlier this year from the Baltimore Police Department, in an interview at the Elijah E. Cummings Courthouse. “It happened one time.”
Watson, 40, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty on Thursday in Baltimore Circuit Court to theft of $100 but less than $1,500 for a sentence of six months’ home detention. The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office reported that he left his post at police headquarters, sold the cannabis and then went home before his shift ended on Sept. 29, 2022. He was absent for two hours and 19 minutes.
Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill accepted the plea agreement, which called for Watson to serve the punishment at the same time as his sentence of one year of home detention in a related case for distribution of marijuana in Baltimore County.
“The state’s intent was not for a double whammy,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Steven Trostle, chief of the Public Trust and Police Integrity Unit, who added that he was satisfied with the outcome in Baltimore County.
Watson’s attorney, Nick Comaromi, said his client was experiencing financial difficulties at the time. He’s now studying business management and information technology at Western Governors University.
Outside the courtroom, Watson disputed that he was a police officer at the time — he said turned in his badge and his gun and worked at a desk — and asserted that he had been on his lunch break.
Watson is on the “Do Not Call” list of current and former police officers whom prosecutors will not ask to testify under any circumstances.
But Watson said he “let the story ride.” He said he did not think that he would win if he went to trial.
“I can’t put the blame on anybody else,” he said. “I’m the one who did it.”
If he hadn’t been caught, though, Watson said he would not have discovered his new passion: upholstery.