South Carolina Man Sentenced To 8 Years After Shooting DEA Agent

| by Nathaly Pesantez

A man from Orangeburg County, South Carolina, was sentenced to eight years in prison after  pleading guilty to shooting a Drug Enforcement Administration agent during a raid last fall.

Before the eight year sentence was delivered, Barry Wilson, the law enforcement agent who was shot, told Judge Michelle Childs that there was no excuse for 33-year-old Joel Robinson's actions, The State reports.

“Two inches higher, it would have been a head shot," Barry Wilson said in court. "Two inches lower, it could have gone under my (bulletproof) vest."

Wilson has accumulated over $82,000 in medical bills since the incident. Although the government covers these expenses, Robinson will have to repay Wilson’s medical bills as restitution. 

Robinson shot at several agents during the surprise DEA raid.

“Mr. Robinson didn’t ask who we were," Wilson said. "He simply launched an assault."

Robinson’s lawyers said he was on the defensive and under the influence of marijuana during the raid. Once he realized law enforcement agents were surrounding his home, Robinson allegedly put his gun down. 

“It was dark. He was scared," Dick Harpootlian, one of Robinson's lawyers, said. "He has never shot anyone in his life.”

No drugs were found in Robinson’s home.

Robinson pleaded guilty to assaulting a law enforcement officer with a deadly weapon while the officer was performing his duties, The State reports.

After several operations, Wilson has a metal plate in his arm and some reconstructive surgery done on his elbow and tendons. He told the judge on Monday that another operation might be required. 

Robinson’s stay in prison means it’ll be some time before Wilson’s medical bills are paid. When the costs are covered, the funds will go to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

From 2005 to 2014, the DEA, through seizing drugs and assets, barred drug-trafficking organizations from receiving $29.6 million in revenue. 

Last year, the DEA made 29,612 domestic arrests.

Sources: The State, Drug Enforcement Administration
Photo Credit: The State