Positive drug test could send Wake sheriff's daughter to prison

Failed drug tests may violate deal

tmcdonald@newsobserver.comDecember 18, 2012 

Paula Gail Harrison


— The 45-year-old daughter of Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison has been ordered to appear in a Johnston County Superior courtroom this week to answer charges that she has violated the prayer for judgment she received almost two years ago for drug trafficking.

Paula Gail Harrison of Garner has been ordered back to court after testing positive for illegal drugs, Johnston County Clerk of Court Will Crocker confirmed Tuesday. She could be sentenced to more than three years in prison, according to court records made public Tuesday.

Crocker said the hearing is set for Wednesday in Johnston County Superior Court, with Robeson County Superior Court Judge Frank Floyd presiding.

On May 13, 2010, Johnston County sheriff’s deputies charged Harrison with trafficking opium or heroin, selling or delivering a controlled substance and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for using, storing or selling drugs.

Johnston deputies accused her of possessing prescription medications that a 17-year-old boy from Clayton had stolen from his father. Investigators said Harrison got 41 Oxycodone pills and three Hydrocodone pills from two teenage boys and delivered the pills to another person.

On Jan. 6, 2011, she pleaded guilty to two felony counts of attempted trafficking in opium or heroin.

As part of deferred prosecution, she agreed to enroll in an intensive outpatient drug treatment program, submit to monthly drug testing, complete 250 hours of community service with an organization that focuses on substance abuse and addiction, abstain from illegal drug use and not commit any criminal offenses.

The agreement stated that if she failed to comply with the conditions, prosecutors would seek an active sentence that would result in her serving between 25 months and 39 months in prison.

She signed the agreement on Jan. 25, 2011 and it was scheduled to expire Jan. 6, 2013, but Harrison failed drug tests in April, May, June, August, September and October, court records show.

Donnie Harrison was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

McDonald: 919-829-4533

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