State police filed charges Thursday against a Youngstown business owner accused of selling drugs that resulted in the June accidental overdose death of a 32-year-old Coolspring Township woman.
Nicoletta Michelle Robinson, 33, is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, aggravated assault, criminal use of communication facility, possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, simple assault and reckless endangerment.
Police said the victim, who died from an overdose in mid-June, wrote two checks to Diva Service LLC, a Youngstown-based taxi business owned by Robinson, 33, on June 16 and June 17 in the amounts of $100 and $165, respectively.
The victim’s cell phone was found near her body when it was discovered June 23 at her home. Police said a search of the phone revealed text message threads between Robinson and the victim that indicated the two women organized methadone transactions on the same dates the checks were issued.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed against Robinson, the text messages included the amount of methadone sold and payment details. Police said the victim also texted Robinson to ask how much of the methadone she should take.
Police said a search of the phone also confirmed the victim had a “steady flow” of social media posts which ended abruptly on the night of June 17, indicating the approximate date and time of the victim’s overdose.
Robinson agreed to an interview with investigators July 31 at the Mercer state police barracks. Police said Robinson admitted to taking checks from the victim but claimed the payment was just for taxi rides from “the hospital to (the victim’s) house.”
When asked why the dollar amount of the checks was inconsistent with the mileage rates charged for Diva Service’s taxi rides, police said Robinson claimed the extra money was for hair and makeup products she sold to the victim.
Robinson admitted to visiting the victim’s home when the last check was issued on June 17 to drop off a “large crate” of hair products, although police said nothing matching that description was found at the residence.
Police also said Robinson admitted she has been prescribed methadone for roughly the last five years and is issued multiple doses of methadone on a semi-weekly basis.
She was released from Mercer County Jail Thursday on a $10,000 bond.
Robinson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Oct. 10 before District Judge Daniel W. Davis.