This man’s life was ruined because federal drug agents stormed his house unannounced

Joel Robinson of Orangeburg, South Carolina, was home alone one morning in October of 2014. It was 6 a.m.—still dark out—when suddenly a group of men burst onto the property, armed and yelling. Alarmed and assuming he was experiencing a home invasion, Robinson grabbed his gun and fled out the back door. As he ran to safety, he shot one of the men he thought was a burglar in the arm.

It was then that Robinson realized that the home invaders were actually federal agents, officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who were executing a search warrant on his home on the suspicion that he’d been manufacturing the drug PCP. Robinson, who had never shot anyone before, immediately dropped his weapon and was arrested.

Seems like a simple case of self-defense, right? Robinson had no way to initially know that the men storming his house were federal agents; he didn’t kill anyone; and as soon as he understood what was happening, he gave up his gun.

Unfortunately, the DEA and the local justice system thought otherwise: Because even accidentally shooting a federal agent counts as assault, Robinson was hit with a whole host of charges—enough to get him a life sentence if convicted for all of them.

His charges included manufacturing and intending to distribute illegal drugs, but no drugs were ever found in his house.

And the DEA officers who ran unannounced into Robinson’s home at 6 a.m.? They weren’t even following their own protocol. “There’s a statute that requires you to knock and announce, and give the person an opportunity to come to the door and answer, and they didn’t do that,” explained one of Robinson’s defense attorneys. If they had, it’s not hard to imagine Robinson’s response would have been very different indeed.

Ultimately, to escape 30 or more years in prison, Robinson accepted a deal in which he plead guilty to the shooting, was sentenced to eight years in prison, and agreed to pay the officer’s $82,000 medical bills (despite the fact that they’d already been covered by insurance).

Joel Robinson’s life is effectively ruined.

How any of this can be said to remotely resemble justice is beyond me.

Robinson’s house was raided on the suspicion that he was manufacturing PCP—but when no drugs were found he was still charged with drug production.

And the agents who invaded his house didn’t follow their own rules to identify themselves—but Robinson was still charged with assault for not realizing who they were.

It goes almost without saying that Robinson is black. While it is impossible to say what kind of role race may or may not have played in his case, there is significant evidence that institutional racism remains a real problem in our justice system. This is particularly true where the drug war is concerned, as black people are more likely than white people to be arrested, convicted, jailed, and given long sentences for the exact same drug crimes.

But perhaps the saddest part of this whole story is that Robinson expressed gratitude that the DEA agents didn’t shoot and kill him on sight. Though that certainly is a mercy, it is appalling that a man who was caught doing nothing wrong would expect that armed government agents could murder him in his home.

Someone's Breaking Into Your House Through the Window? Don't Shoot! It's Probably Cops!

Joel Robinson gets 8 year sentence. He shot and wounded Drug Enforcement Agent Barry Wilson during the no-knock raid early in the morning 9 months ago. Wilson and judges claims that there was no excuse for Robinson to shoot in police, because of light bar on the police car and agents yelling “police” and wearing the vests with the word “police” on it. But Robinson was scared and trying to defend himself from strangers, so he made several shots. When he realized that it was cops, he ceased firing. 

Sometimes gangsters impersonate police and kill people in their houses. I think police has no excuse for such raids! My main argument is the fact that no drugs were found in Robinson’s house. So cops actually got Robinson into this fucking mess and now he feels guilty for wounding the officer and faces 8 fucking years in prison! Thanks to second Amendment, by the way.

you can read the full story and reasonable comments on it HERE


Joker: “However, if you keep on having such a slack attitude like that, you won’t get accepted by my comrades, you know.”

Dea: “No, it can’t be possible. I am confident that I will be liked by everyone….After all, Father, you are an unsociable butler, aren’t you…But, I’m different. I will offer everyone an excellent service…Well, anyway, just give me that coffee beans you brought already. I will make everyone coffee as my greetings…”

Joker: “Wha–!? But, it’s my job to make everyone’s drink…”

Dea: “You ought to be prepared…Father. When it comes to a butler’s work, I will snatch it away from you mercilessly. From now on, I am really looking forward to it….”


DEA Steals $16K From Innocent Man, Leaves Him Without a Way Home

(HighTimes) According to The Albuquerque Journal, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration accosted Rivers at an Amtrak station during a short layover in New Mexico. It was here that agents began giving him and several other passengers the third degree in hopes of establishing evidence to suggest that someone, anyone, might be using the great American rail system to traffic illegal narcotics.

Witnesses say the shakedown began as a series of typical law enforcement-type questions: “Where are you going… and why?” However, Rivers, the only black man at the scene, was reportedly singled out by an agent and asked for consent to a search of his bag. Hoping to avoid any further hassle, Rivers complied with the DEA’s request.

During the search, agents found an envelope from a Michigan bank containing River’s life savings—$16,000 in cash. Although there was nothing in the bag to suggest involvement with the illegal drug trade, agents decided to seize all of the cash based on possibility that Rivers earned it slinging dope.

Rivers attempted to explain the origin of the cash to agents. He even connected them on the phone with his mother, who clarified that he had been able to save the money throughout the course of the past several years with the help of the family.

In the end, the DEA refused to return the cash because… Well… The law says they do not have to.

Thanks to the civil asset forfeiture program, overseen by the Department of Justice, DEA agents can seize an individual’s cars, cash and houses simply based on a suspected affiliation with the illegal drug trade. What’s more is that the individual will likely never see their property again, regardless of whether or not they are charged with a crime. It’s legal thievery at a dastardly level, and it reportedly put nearly $7 billion in Uncle Sam’s pocket between 2008 and 2013, according to the Institute for Justice.

earl-of-the-clockwork-corvus asked:

I have a question. Why do governments ALWAYS ignore evidence? The war on drugs for instance? Every scrap if evidence says that theyre wrong. And they ignore it. Whyyyyy?

They know that it doesn’t work and they never even intended for it to work, it’s always merely been both a tool to control the masses and to gain funding for the government. 

It does this predominantly in a few ways:

  • Having a drug war generates tax revenue for federal agencies, paid for by the American populace.
  • Prohibition keeps the prices of drugs up so that federal agencies can sell prohibited/regulated drugs to the US populace at higher prices(source 1, 2)
  • It generates revenue in forfeiture of property and outright theft from suspects(a good example is the reason they took the Silkroad down was to steal bitcoins)
  • They get massive pay offs from private companies who don’t want competition in their markets(namely pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists)
  • Other companies pay off the federal government to keep drugs illegal because it benefits their industry(namely private prisons)
  • It creates large criminal networks which then need to be “destroyed”, thus creating an endless cycle of funding for crime fighting whilst creating crimes.

Any structure of power is going to do what is in it’s best interest to say in power regardless of how detrimental it is to the populace. In this regard they function like living organisms. It’s a survival mechanism. 

There are also social control aspects to the prohibition of drugs. These might not be the biggest reason that each substance was banned but it was certainly a factor. An excuse to hassle and imprison individuals that the government viewed as a threat to it.

  • Cannabis was banned in to give an excuse to arrest Mexican immigrants
  • Cocaine was banned to give an excuse to arrest Jazz musicians and blacks
  • Opium was banned to give an excuse to arrest Chinese immigrants
  • LSD was banned to give an excuse to arrest hippies
  • ect

Currently prohibition is still used as both a racist and classist tool to control portions of the populace. But I would say that seems to be a secondary function to revenue generation.


The Justice Department is claiming, in a little-noticed court filing, that a federal agent had the right to impersonate a young woman online by creating a Facebook page in her name without her knowledge. Government lawyers also are defending the agent’s right to scour the woman’s seized cell phone and to post photographs — including racy pictures of her and even one of her young son and niece — to the phony social media account, which the agent was using to communicate with suspected criminals.

The woman, Sondra Arquiett, who then went by the name Sondra Prince, first learned her identity had been commandeered in 2010 when a friend asked about the pictures she was posting on her Facebook page. There she was, for anyone with an account to see — posing on the hood of a BMW, legs spread, or, in another, wearing only skimpy attire. She was surprised; she hadn’t even set up a Facebook page.

The account was actually set up by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Timothy Sinnigen.

(Source: Schneier on Security)