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Court date for sheriff’s daughter on drug charges set for November


Grand jury adds death by distribution indictment, as well as indictments stemming from 2017 break-in

The adult daughter of Alamance County’s sheriff Terry Johnson is slated to go to trial this fall on a slew of charges that stem from her alleged sale of fentanyl to a man who died of a drug overdose in September of 2021.  Additionally, charges have been added from an unrelated breaking and entering crime from 2017.

Emily Jean Robinson, a 41-year-old white female of 7408 Bass Mountain Road in Snow Camp, currently faces trial on November 7 for felony-level offenses that include death by distribution, the sale and distribution of fentanyl, and maintaining a dwelling for the sale or distribution of controlled substances.

Emily Jean Robinson

Robinson was formally indicted on each of these charges on July 6 – along with the associated misdemeanor charge of the possession of drug paraphernalia.  With the exception of death by distribution – a charge that originated with the indictment last month – Robinson had originally been charged with these crimes when she was arrested on September 16, 2021.

In the meantime, the same grand jury which indicted Robinson on these charges has also issued indictments in an earlier case in which she’s accused of breaking into a Burlington residence. The charges associated with this break-in, which reportedly occurred in 2017, are likewise set for trial on November 7 of this year.

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The more recent case against Robinson dates back to her alleged sale of fentanyl to Robert Starner, Jr. on September 14, 2021. According to court records, Robinson later admitted that she had sold fentanyl to Starner, who reportedly “believed he was purchasing heroin” from her at the time. Starner went on to suffer a fatal overdose on September 15, which precipitated Robinson’s arrest a day later.

In the wake of Robinson’s arrest, law enforcement officials obtained two search warrants – one for the defendant’s Motorolla cell phone and a second for her home along Bass Mountain Road.

The second warrant and all of its supporting documents were initially placed under seal “due to the sensitive nature of the ongoing investigation” against Robinson and her suspected accomplices.

These records were ultimately unsealed in December, revealing that the officers who took part in the search had retrieved drug paraphernalia, cellular devices, fentanyl, and Xantax “bars” from the defendant’s residence. But even before the seal had been lifted, court documents indicated that law enforcement had evidence to substantiate the charges of maintaining a dwelling and paraphernalia possession.

In the latter case, this evidence apparently included digital scales and plastic bags found in the search of Robinson’s home.

In addition to these drug-related offenses, the grand jury that convened in July also indicted Robinson on various charges related to the aforementioned break-in from 2017.

It wasn’t until the summer of 2021 that Robinson was formally charged in that incident, in which she allegedly entered the Kilby Street residence of Kenneth Hilliard on June 19, 2017. According to the grand jury’s indictment, Robinson made off with money and personal property that she had found in the home. She also allegedly opened a safe during the break-in “for the purpose of stealing, tampering with, and disturbing its contents.”

The items that Robinson allegedly stole are described in more detail in an arrest warrant which Burlington’s police department issued on August 4, 2021. According to the warrant, the stolen property, which had an estimated value of $32,610, included $31,510 in cash, three fentanyl patches, 50 doses of oxycodone, and 100 Xantax pills.

In light of the grand jury’s finding, Robinson is also scheduled to face charges of breaking and entering, felony larceny, and safecracking when she goes to trial on November 7.

Due to Robinson’s close familial relationship with Alamance County’s sheriff Terry Johnson, the local D.A.’s office has sought a “conflict prosecutor” from outside the county to handle this case on its behalf.

When asked about his daughter’s charges in the aftermath of her arrest last year, Johnson had indicated that Robinson had been through some personal struggles with opioid addiction about a dozen years before.

As a condition of her release from jail after her arrest last year, the 41-year-old was obligated to enroll in a residential treatment program that the nonprofit Living Free Ministries offers in Alamance County.

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