A jury has found a former Little Rock police officer guilty of one charge but innocent of four others tied to his escorting while on duty a van that prosecutors alleged he thought was carrying a shipment of marijuana.
The jury in the retrial of Randall Robinson returned with verdicts about 2 p.m. Wednesday, finding the ex-lawman guilty of providing a false statement to investigators. He was found innocent of conspiracy to aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute marijuana; attempting to aid and possess with intent to distribute marijuana; failing to report a crime; and using a telephone in a drug crime.
Friends and family let out an audible gasp when U.S. District Judge Joe Volpe, filling in for U.S. District Judge Brian Miller, read the guilty verdict after the four "not guilty" ones. Robinson hung his head while Volpe polled the jury to make sure the decision was unanimous.
Robinson was allowed to remain free pending sentencing, which will occur at a later date.
Prosecutors said Robinson's half-brother, former officer Mark Jones, helped arrange the March 22, 2012, escort of the van that was purported to be hauling a large amount of marijuana. The van was actually part of an undercover FBI investigation, and both officers were arrested.
In his first trial last year, a jury found Robinson guilty of distributing a half-pound of marijuana in 2009 but couldn't agree on a verdict in the charges tied to the 2012 escort.
The one count of which Robinson was found guilty was added after a jury last year couldn't reach a verdict. It alleged that he lied to a federal agent when he said he did not follow a van, was not asked to do so by Jones or the informant, did not receive a cellphone from Jones or the informant and did not receive money from Jones for following any vehicle.
During Robinson's retrial, which started Monday, prosecutors presented the jury aerial video showing his police sport utility vehicle tailing the van that morning. And they played a clip from another officer's patrol car camera showing Robinson behind the van going the opposite direction from a high-priority call of a possible hostage situation where shots were fired.
Robinson's defense attorney noted that the officer was never dispatched to that call and said Robinson was asked to follow the van by Jones but was not aware it was supposedly hauling drugs.
Jones pleaded guilty to one of the charges against him and was sentenced to more than eight years in prison.