In a case that would be apt appearing on Americans Dumbest Criminals, a U.S. Marshal has received a sentence of 10 years in federal prison for his role in an unwitting California drug heist.
Deputy Marshal Clorenzo Griffin robbed 24 pounds of marijuana from three drug dealers at gunpoint in a Yuba City motel parking lot on Oct. 11, 2014 with two other men: Andre Jamison and Rodney Rackley.
The thieves were from out of town and not familiar with the area. After the armed robbery, Griffin sped away from the scene with his partners, running a red light around the corner from a California Highway Patrol office.
A highway patrolman quickly gave chase and the robbers abandoned their rented vehicle and fled on foot. Unwittingly, Griffin ran straight into the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office in attempt to allude the cop.
There he was confronted by a sheriff’s deputy, who fired a warning shot before he surrendered, dropped his gun, and was taken into custody. His partners in crime were arrested shortly after.
Griffin, 38, was fired by the U.S. Marshal Service following his arrest and remained in jail until he pleaded guilty in December to plotting an interstate robbery.
He had worked primarily as a Marshal in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he escorted prisoners to and from court and guarded them in the courtroom.
The meeting between he and the drug dealers was reportedly set up by an intermediary acquainted with Jamison who spent time in both Florida and Sacramento.
The man had told the dealers that the men from Florida wanted to buy drugs. The dealers said that the robbers approached their vehicle with guns drawn wearing gear that said “POLICE” on it before one of them asked if anyone in the car was on probation.
One of the drug dealers was then pulled out of the car and asked for his identification while the robbers took three bags of marijuana out of the car and the trio made their get away.
Both Jamison, 40, and Rackley, 24, pleaded guilty to their parts in the caper and were sentenced in December. Jamison received seven years and three months, and Rackley got six years in federal prison.
Last week, Sacramento District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller finally sentenced Griffin. He got 10 years after prosecutors argued the disgraced Marshal played the lead role in the operation.
“As a member of law enforcement, he abused the public trust placed in sworn peace officers… [Griffin] planned, financed, and participated [in the robbery,]” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hitt said in a sentencing memorandum.
“Indeed, without Mr. Griffin, the crime would never have occurred. Neither of his co-defendants had the resources or vision to plan the conspiracy in this case… [The robbery] required a cross-county flight, obtaining hotel rooms, procuring firearms, ballistic vests, and a rental car, as well as the moxie to set up and rob marijuana traffickers.”