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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

1819 News CEO Kenneth Bryan Dawson Helped Mexican Drug Cartels Flood America With Cocaine

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on November 13, 2023

IMAGE: Inmate Kenneth Bryan Dawson is now the president, CEO, and publisher of 1819 News.

An Editorial Opinion

By his own admission, 1819 News president, CEO, and publisher Kenneth Bryan Dawson reduced his potential prison sentence in 2008 from 384 years to 12 years.  Dawson is a convicted cocaine drug dealer, motor vehicle thief, and attempted murderer in Colorado. Court records confirm Dawson's extensive criminal history.


Dawson was a “shot caller” in prison.  He reportedly declared his allegiance to the “white car” at his various prison locations, and he eventually became one of its leaders.  The “white car” is an inmate description for a white supremacy group within the general population.


As “shot caller,” Dawson ordered the beatings of other inmates and participated in some of these beatings himself.  Dawson has publicly confessed to his prison violence.


The Colorado Department of Corrections punished Dawson for his violent behavior by placing him in the “Hole” for several months.  The “Hole” is administrative segregation, which means Dawson was removed from the general inmate population and placed in an isolated detention cell.


In contrast to Bryan Dawson’s couple of months in the “Hole” for prison violence, I spent one year in the “Hole.”  However, my punishment had nothing to do with any violent behavior on my part.  I was punished for writing news articles for my website, even though prison rules allowed it. 

My ordeal in the “Hole” began with the April 28, 2020, publication of an article dealing with Mack Smith (Reg. No. 59923-019), an elderly white inmate in my dormitory who contracted COVID-19 at the Talladega Federal Prison Camp.  My roommate and I desperately tried to get Mr. Smith the medical help he needed.  Prison officials ignored our repeated requests to send Smith to a hospital.  Smith later died from complications related to his non-stop coughing, shortness of breath, profuse sweating, and fatigue.


After multiple stays in the “Hole,” prisons officials realized they could not “break” me or stop the publication of my news articles.  They eventually released me from the “Hole” for the last time in February 2022.


Bryan Dawson found God in prison.   In contrast, God accompanied me to prison, stayed by my side the entire 3 years I was incarcerated, and heaped plenty of His blessings upon me after my release in August 2022.


Dawson Traded Stolen Motor Vehicles to the Mexican Cartels for Illegal Drugs


Bryan Dawson stole ATVs and motorcycles for Mexican Drug Cartels in exchange for a steady supply of cocaine.  Dawson helped the Cartels flood the United States with cocaine that crossed the Southern border.  His stolen ATVs and motrocycles helped Cartel members evade a cocaine supply chain disruption and capture by Border Patrol and DEA agents.

This is how Dawson explained his drug dealing with the Cartels:


“What that looked like was we would steal 4 wheelers and motorcycles and give them to Mexicans that would take them back across the border, and they would pay me in drugs.  I was supposedly the ringleader of that whole thing.  I don't know how true that was, but that's the way it was in the cop's eyes.  They busted one of the houses that had the motorcycles, and they pressured the guy who lived there and he said that I was running all these rings.”


After Dawson was busted for trying to kill the police informant who snitched on him and "outed" his illegal "stolen ATVs & motorcycles-for-cocaine" operation to law enforcement officers, Dawson was facing 384 years in prison.  He pleaded guilty to an assault charge and received a 12-year sentence.

I will tell you why Dawson was able to go from 384 years in prison to a 12-year sentence in an upcoming article. [Hint: It had nothing to do with great lawyering.]

Dawson Hooked Up with the Alabama Policy Institute


After Bryan Dawson was released from prison, he relocated to a secluded part of Alabama and hooked up with the right-wing Alabama Policy Institute (API).  This hookup is explained in my November 8, 2023, article titled, “Kenneth Bryan Dawson: The “Shot Caller” Who Sanctioned 1819 News’ Hit Job on Fred ‘Bubba’ Copeland.


After this article was published, API tried to distance itself from 1819 News – at least from a public perception standpoint.  However, API’s tax return for 2021 and “dark money” contributions from API supports paint a much different story.

API's 2021 tax return, alone, shows that the organization funneled $1,077,500 to Bryan Dawson’s 1819 Media, despite Dawson's rap sheet as a cocaine drug dealer, accomplice to Mexican drug cartels, motor vehicle thefts, and history of violent criminal conduct.

In the wake of Fred "Bubba" Copeland’s November 3, 2023, suicide, API began a public relations/crisis management campaign to disassociate itself from Dawson and 1819 News. 

Today, API issued this statement:

“[T]he Alabama Policy Institute (API) would like to highlight that 1819 News and API formally separated on December 31, 2022. There is no legal, editorial, or financial affiliation between the two entities.”

Despite this disclaimer, API-related "dark money" is still flowing to Dawson's 1819 News organization.

API views Kenneth Bryan Dawson as somewhat of a hero. They view me as a troublemaker.


Coming soon -- Who are the big money donors propping up Bryan Dawson, Jeff Poor, and 1819 News, and why?

9 comentários

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15 de nov. de 2023

I am NOT defending his criminal past anymore than I am defending yours. Both of you were convicted and served the time the courts decided was just.

What is just in God's eyes? Everlasting life in hell Romans 3:23. 6:23

Yet each of you areequal at the foot of the cross

David was called by God "a man after his own heart" and yet he stole a mans wife and sent Uriah to his death to cover it up.

Psalms 51 is David crying out for forgiveness and God used his life and lineage to birth Jesus Christ in human form.

By your standard he is not acceptable. Thank God redemption come from Christ not you.

Redemption does not eliminate…

15 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

You seem to be operating under a LOT of mistaken "truths". One person actually committed a crime (a very violent crime, no less), the other got targeted due to desegregating half of Alabama, bringing down two corrupt federal judges, a corrupt governor, etc. No one who bought into Donald Watkin's businesses has lost money. Both businesses are still on-going. It's also strange that you forgot to mention that at least one of the people who bought into the businesses testified FOR Watkins and the vast majority of the other investors told the government to go take a hike. I wonder why the investors who testified against him did so..... Hmmm.....

In regards to Bentley, no, there certainly is not anything…


15 de nov. de 2023

I am amazed each time characters like Kenneth Bryan Copeland who can commit every crime under the sun, and the criminal justice system virtually turn deaf ear on them by rendering sentences compatible to misdemeanor in the mist of felony offenses. It's heart-wrenching to say the least to see such cold bloody, insensitive, and maniacal behavior by anyone that never receive the just punishment due them no matter how severe the offense.

I've known dozens of men and women convicted and sentenced to prison for more than half of their lives on charges no way compared to offenses Kenneth Bryan Copeland charged with.

I really appreciated this editorial. It serve to remind us how far we must go to achieve…

30 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

A mere oversight on my part. Thanks for correcting this error.


14 de nov. de 2023

I see you used the Newsweek article I posted in the comments to "out" Dawson. Kind of hard to out someone who already outed himself.

Like the thief on the cross who confessed his sins, repented and asked Christ's forgiveness.

Unlike you who proclaims to be a Christian Jesus did not rub his face in his past but gave him the path to paradise.

You could take a lesson from the savior

15 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

You go on and on about how slick-talking Dawson has "redeemed" himself. Perhaps you can answer these questions:

  1. Did Dawson ever apologize to the person he almost killed or does he continue to lie about the circumstances of the crime? In his Newsweek interview he pins the crime on his friend. The Colorado news article at the time of the crime points to Dawson being the person who hit the informant with a padlock attached to a heavy metal chain.

  2. Dawson sold hard drugs to minors. Has he ever apologized to these minors and the families of these children?

  3. Has he ever volunteered his time helping drug addicts get off drugs?

  4. OR does he just profess to having a "come…

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