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Salt Lake City attorney charged with making pot by-product

Published February 22, 2014 3:41 pm

Crime • He and sons were operating lab in Sugar House, charging documents say.
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An attorney for Salt Lake City, who has been representing the police department in civil matters for most of the past year, was charged Friday with manufacturing a marijuana byproduct called "Dab" or "Shatter" in a make-shift lab at his Sugar House home.

James Wesley Robinson, 50, and his two adult sons were arrested following a search of their home on Tuesday.

On Friday, James Robinson was charged in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony operation of a clandestine lab, second-degree felony drug possession with intent to distribute, second-degree felony drug possession, four third-degree felony counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, and one count of class A misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

His sons, 21-year-old Alexander Jordan Robinson and 18-year-old Zachary Ryan Robinson, were each charged with first-degree felony operation of a clandestine lab, second-degree felony drug possession with intent to distribute and class A misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police went to Robinson's Sugar House home on Tuesday after a burglary was reported there, according to charging documents.

Inside, officers noticed a strong smell of marijuana and saw several bongs and other items of drug paraphernalia strewn about the home, charges state.

After officers obtained a search warrant, they found several pounds of marijuana, dozens of bongs, grinders, pips, rolling papers, scales and $26,230 in cash, charges documents state.

Officers also found in multiple locations in the home a caramel-like substance commonly referred to as "Dab" or "Shatter," which field-tested positive for THC, charges state.

In the basement, officers found a pressure cooker with Dab in the bottom, as well as glass tubes, a butane torch, and numerous cans of butane, charges state.

In a locked room, police found three firearms, several bags containing more than 2½ pounds of marijuana, a temperature controller commonly used in marijuana cultivation and a box containing "grow lights," according to charges.

In Zachary Robinson's bedroom, police found marijuana, marijuana pipes, Dab and $6,900 in cash, charges state.

In Alexander Robinson's bedroom, police found marijuana pipes, bongs, Dab, a scale, a vacuum sealer and $2,500 in cash, charges state.

In James Robinson's bedroom, police found a 9mm handgun and a vial containing a white substance that field-tested positive for cocaine, charges state.

An informant, identified in charging documents as A.D., told police she had purchased marijuana from the two sons on numerous occasions, and that Alexander Robinson had told her they wanted to expand their business.

Possession of a firearm is illegal if the owner also is in possession of illegal drugs, according to Sgt. Robin Heiden.

The Robinsons' home is within 400 feet of Clayton Middle School, which enhances the clandestine lab charges.

Heiden has declined to disclose who reported the burglary.

James Robinson has worked for the city attorney's office since 2000. According to an online profile, he previously worked at the state attorney general's office.

He has been representing the police department in civil matters for most of the past year and works in an office in the public safety building. But Heiden said the man does not have regular contact with rank and file officers, nor is he involved with criminal cases. Robinson is on paid adminstrative leave, said Art Raymond, spokesman for Mayor Ralph Becker.

Robinson and his sons had all bailed out of by Thursday afternoon; each were held on bail of just under $12,000.

No court dates had been set as of Friday evening.







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