Ex-assistant city attorney, adult sons accused of making marijuana byproduct take plea deals

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SALT LAKE CITY — A former assistant city attorney who used to represent Salt Lake City police pleaded guilty Friday to charges connected to making a marijuana byproduct with his sons in a makeshift basement lab.

James Wesley Robinson and his sons, Alexander and Zachary Robinson, all took plea deals in the case. Prosecutors have agreed not to seek prison time when the three are sentenced at a Feb. 13 hearing, court documents show.

Appearing in a neat gray suit, James Robinson answered questions from Judge James Blanch in a clear voice Friday. His sons followed him and entered their pleas together.

The three were accused of making a concentrated marijuana byproduct called "Dab" or "Shatter" from raw pot after police went to the Robinson home in an upper middle class neighborhood of Salt Lake City to investigate a burglary on Feb. 18.

Officers found more than two pounds of marijuana, $26,000 in cash, scales, guns and a pressure cooker containing some of the byproduct, according to court documents.

Police also reported finding cocaine and a handgun in James Robinson's bedroom.

Robinson, 51, was a city lawyer for more than 13 years. He most recently represented the police department in civil cases. He was fired shortly after his arrest.

His attorney, Edward Brass, said in an email message he would reserve comments on the case for the sentencing.

A lawyer for his son Alexander, 21, said the University of Utah student is ready to put the case behind him.

"It's a huge relief for him, and for his sibling and his father as well," said attorney Loni DeLand. "They just want to get on with their lives."

Ron Yengich, who represented 19-year-old Zachary Robinson, declined to comment.

James Robinson pleaded guilty to three reduced felony charges: possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm and possession of clandestine laboratory equipment. Prosecutors dropped five other charges.

His sons both pleaded to reduced felony counts of possessing lab equipment and distributing a controlled substance, though prosecutors agreed their charges could be reduced to misdemeanors if they complete probation successfully. A third misdemeanor drug charge filed against both men was dropped.

Blanch accepted the plea agreements Friday.

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