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Alleged PCP Distributor Who Shot a DEA Agent Arraigned on Federal Narcotics and Assault Charges

DEC 02 (COLUMBIA, S.C.) - Joel Perrin Robinson has been arraigned on federal drugs and weapons charges in relation to the shooting of a DEA agent while a search warrant was being executed at his home on October 20, 2014.

John S. Comer, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, “The wounding of our agent during the execution of a Federal Search Warrant reinforces the daily dangers law enforcement officers face while conducting narcotics investigations.  The DEA will work closely with our federal, state and local counterparts to assist the US Attorney’s Office in the prosecution of this matter.”

“This defendant is charged with opening fire on federal agents while they were serving a federal narcotics search warrant.  A DEA Special Agent was seriously injured,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “This office will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to ensure that he is held accountable for his actions.”

David A. Thomas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Columbia Field Office said, “This case is the result of an unfortunate reality that happens far too often to law enforcement officers working selflessly to make our communities safer. It is a grim reminder of the violence associated with the illegal drug trade and the dangers faced by law enforcement officers trying to stop it.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges, and other information presented in court:   Beginning in 2007, Robinson, along with co-conspirators Coleman Warnock and Adrian Banks (both have been charged with narcotics offenses in the Northern District of Georgia) allegedly purchased, stored, brokered, distributed and used a number of chemicals, including piperidine, a PCP precursor, to manufacture large quantities of PCP, a controlled substance.  At the direction of Warnock, Banks transported chemicals used to manufacture PCP from the Atlanta, Ga., area to Robinson, who stored the chemicals at his residence in Orangeburg, SC.  Then, Robinson, Warnock and Banks allegedly transported chemicals used to manufacture PCP from South Carolina to other jurisdictions. 

On July 6, 2013, Warnock and two other individuals were processing chemicals associated with PCP manufacturing at a residence located in Fairburn, Ga.  On that date, a green GMC Canyon pickup truck registered to a relative of Robinson was located at the residence, along with two trailers which had been used by Warnock, Banks, and Robinson to transport chemicals associated with PCP manufacturing.  One of the trailers was purchased and titled in the name of a relative of Robinson.  At some point during the processing of the chemicals, a fire erupted and burned for two days - destroying the residence.

On or about December 4, 2013, at the direction of Warnock, another individual transported a trailer which contained, among other items, 55-gallon drums of piperidine to Robinson’s Orangeburg residence.

On October 20, 2014, at approximately 6:15 a.m., DEA special agents and Task Force agents were executing a federal search warrant to search Robinson’s Orangeburg residence for evidence of a drug trafficking crime while announcing “police, search warrant” in a loud and continuous manner.  The indictment alleges that Robinson fired four shots from his bedroom. Then, he walked out of his bedroom into the pool area of the residence.  At that time, Robinson allegedly used a laser sight on his .45 caliber pistol and fired an additional two rounds at DEA agents who were part of the search warrant team, providing coverage for agents executing the search warrant in the garage area. One of the rounds fired by Robinson struck a DEA special agent in the right elbow, causing the agent serious injury.  Robinson then surrendered to law enforcement and was placed under arrest.

During the search of the residence, agents also located an AR-15 rifle with three magazines and Aim Shot scope, a 16-gauge shotgun, a semi-automatic rifle, a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun, a bolt action rifle, a .22 caliber revolver, a .38 caliber revolver with laser grip sight, and a 380 handgun with magazine and laser sight.  A bulletproof vest was also recovered from Robinson’s bedroom.

A federal grand jury seated in the District of South Carolina returned the indictment for Joel Perrin Robinson, 32, of Orangeburg, SC., on November 20, 2014.   He was arraigned before a United States Magistrate Judge in Columbia, SC.  

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is handling the prosecution of Robinson as the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina has voluntarily recused itself from the case. 

Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges.  The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Special agents and Task Force agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are conducting the investigation of this case.   Valuable assistance was also provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Georgia State Fire Marshal’s Office, Fulton County Fire Department, Atlanta Fire Department, Snellville Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Fifth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, and the Columbia Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Herskowitz, and Vivek Kothari, who have been admitted as Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the District of South Carolina, are prosecuting the case.

The DEA encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.


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