Robinson Retrial Ends With A Guilty Verdict

A federal judge ordered defendant Russell Robinson to appear for a July 3 sentencing following Thursday’s drug trafficking conviction. (Source file photo)

Accused drug trafficker Russell Robinson was found guilty on all counts by a federal jury Thursday. The verdict was delivered at the end of a three-day trial held on St. Thomas.

Jurors delivered guilty verdicts on a two-count indictment charging drug trafficking conspiracy and possession of 210 kilograms of cocaine with intent to distribute. The drugs — valued at $2.1 million — were recovered in Hull Bay by police and federal agents at the end of a cross-island pursuit of Robinson and two others on Nov. 29, 2021.

A witness testifying at trial told the court the substance found in seven recovered duffle bags tested positive for the presence of cocaine.

Robinson’s second trial came after the court declared a mistrial in his June 2023 jury trial alongside co-defendant Trevor Stephen. Stephen was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after he declined to present a defense or testify at that time.

A third individual seen on surveillance images shown as evidence was never apprehended. On the final day of trial Robinson testified that he was forced to transport the drugs after the third person entered his pickup truck and threatened him with a firearm.

The court rejected that claim.

Chief District Judge Robert Molloy ordered the defendant to return to court for sentencing on July 3 at 10 a.m. A prior conviction on similar charges in 2007 may lead to a harsher sentence under United States Code, Title 21, Section 846 and Section 841(b)(1)(A).

Molloy also told the defendant not to file any additional motions prior to sentencing without getting prior consent. Federal marshals then handcuffed Robinson and led him away.

The court was inundated with a series of motions filed by Robinson after the mistrial declaration. In an opinion filed shortly before the start of the retrial, Molloy rejected the final motion to dismiss based on a speedy trial argument.

The judge said delays were the defendant’s fault; Molloy cited repeated legal maneuvers by Robinson — acting as his own lawyer — to have the case thrown out of court.