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Federal investigation alleges Old Hawthorne homicide connected to drug trafficking scheme

An investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration alleges an unsolved homicide in the Old Hawthorne subdivision was tied to a drug trafficking scheme.

Augustus Roberts was killed in Columbia’s Old Hawthorne subdivision on Dec. 11, 2017.

ABC 17 News previously reported, police said the investigation revealed that suspects targeted the home and forced entry into the house. Officials said the invasion was believed to be drug-related. Roberts’ homicide has remained unsolved.

The DEA began investigating after the homicide and alleges Roberts was “involved in trafficking high-grade marijuana.”

About 800 pounds of marijuana was stolen from a U-Haul truck parked in the driveway, according to the documents. The U-Haul was abandoned by one of the suspects a short distance away and officials found about 94 pounds of marijuana in the U-Haul and about 3,199 THC oil pens in the U-Haul and in Roberts’ residence.

During a subsequent investigation, the DEA found a former DEA cooperating source was one of Roberts’ sources for the marijuana.

The source told investigators about a high-grade marijuana trafficking organization in Oregon and identified Craig Dewitt Smith Jr. and Kurt Arthur Petersen as leaders.

In March 2017, the source told investigators they began supplying Roberts with 280 to 350 pounds of marijuana every three to four weeks during a 39-week time period.

The special agent said, at his discretion, the source worked with Smith and Michael Ricketts to have a bulk shipment of marijuana sent to the source in Missouri. Information from the source to officials led to the seizure of nearly 1,846 pounds of marijuana from a commercial trailer near Cheyenne, Wyoming on Aug 28, 2018.

The DEA alleges probable cause that Smith conspired to distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana.

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