Three Flint men charged in conspiracy to rob Sanilac County marijuana grow operation

FLINT — An indictment was unsealed Monday charging three Flint men with conspiring to rob a Sanilac County marijuana grow operation, announced U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider. Joining Schneider in the announcement was Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Slater.

Named in the federal indictment are: Paul M. Drinkwine, Justin D. Cooper and John C. Williams. The indictment alleges that on Nov. 19, 2017, the defendants and others traveled from Flint to a residence in Sanilac County in order steal marijuana and marijuana proceeds.

The indictment also alleges that the men covered their faces, put on gloves, and brandished firearms as they approached the home. The men forcibly entered the home and shot the homeowner in the leg. The homeowner survived.

Another resident of the home shot and killed two of the intruders. The indictment further alleges that the men conspired to distribute the marijuana after the robbery, and that they used their firearms during and in relation to the attempted robbery and conspiracy to distribute the marijuana.

“Drugs are a magnet for violence, and all too often that violence is perpetrated with a gun. Our office will continue to work with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to target violent criminals who use guns to achieve their selfish ends,” said Schneider.

“This robbery created an extraordinarily dangerous situation, putting the lives of the residents and the lives of the robbers at risk,” said SAC Slater. “Because of the hard work of the FBI and its law enforcement partners, these men will face the consequences of their reckless actions.”

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. This investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Genesee County Safe Streets Task Force along with the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory and Sanilac County Sheriff’s Department.

The case is being prosecuted by the Flint Branch of the United States Attorney’s Office.

Anyone with information regarding others involved in this incident may contact the FBI Flint Field Office at 810-239-5775. — G.G.