The adult daughter of Alamance County’s sheriff has been arrested by police officers in Burlington after she allegedly sold an illegal narcotics to a man who ultimately died after taking the drugs.
According to court records, Emily Jean Robinson was taken into custody on September 16 – two days after she allegedly sold and delivered the Schedule I controlled substance that Burlington’s police department has identified as the opioid fentanyl.
A 41-year-old white female who hails from 7408 Bass Mountain Road in Snow Camp, Robinson is also the daughter of Alamance County’s sheriff Terry Johnson, who has taken a hard line on the illegal narcotics trade throughout his nearly two decade at the helm of the local sheriff’s office.
Brian Long, an assistant chief with the city’s police department, said that Robinson’s arrest followed an inquiry into the death of Robert Starner, Jr., who succumbed to an apparent fentanyl overdose at 415 South Anthony Street on the morning of September 15.
“Based on this death investigation,” Long went on to explain in an interview, “information was passed along to our narcotics investigation team about Ms. Robinson’s potential involvement in the distribution of narcotics.”
Long noted that narcotics enforcement in Alamance County is normally the purview of an interagency task force, which includes sheriff’s deputies as well as police officers from Burlington and other communities. Long added, however, that the city’s police department chose to handle this particular case on its own in light of the defendant’s familial relationship with Johnson.
“Once the Burlington Police department became aware of a possible link between the defendant and the sheriff,” the assistant police chief recalled, “the decision was made that only Burlington police officers would be used [in the investigation].”
In the end, the city’s police officers arrested Robinson on September 16 for the sale and delivery of a Schedule I controlled substance, the possession of a Schedule I controlled substance with the intent to sell or delivery the drug, and maintaining a vehicle for the sale or distribution of a controlled substance. In addition to these three felonies, Robinson also faces a misdemeanor charge for the alleged possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to court records, Robinson was incarcerated in Alamance County’s jail after her arrest under a bond that was initially set at $20,000.
On Tuesday, attorneys with the law firm of Hunt and White were scheduled to appear in court on Robinson’s behalf to seek a reduction in the original bond.
The Alamance News has been unable to reach sheriff Johnson for comment on Tuesday, but he told another news outlet, WFMY News 2 that appeared to break the story Monday night, that his daughter had dealt with an opioid problem more than a dozen years ago after battling cancer. He said she was treated for the addiction and seemed to be drug-free the past decade or so.
The sheriff acknowledged to the TV news station, “I have honestly felt over the years for the families that have had to go through stuff like this, but at the time, I never thought it would hit mine, but I always knew there was a possibility.”