IDAHO FALLS – Court documents reveal new details behind the drug arrest of the former Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney as he appeared in court for the first time Tuesday on the charges.
Robin Dunn, 67, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of controlled substance, misdemeanor possession or use of drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor resisting or obstructing officers.
During his initial court appearance on Tuesday, Dunn represented himself and pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges. He waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing on the felony and had little to say during the hearing. Dunn asked Magistrate Judge Steven Gardner about surrendering his passport and said it was currently with a travel agent.
A newly released probable cause document says Idaho Falls Police were called to Shari’s on Broadway Street around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday due to a report of a possible DUI/narcotics situation.
The reporting party said a woman parked in a black Audi was “very high on dirty 30s” and “not safe to drive.”
When officers arrived, they found the vehicle illegally parked in a handicapped spot. According to police records, the car was running and inside was a woman, identified as Vivian Exler, and a man, identified as Dunn.
Court records show that Exler is currently facing a felony count of possession of a controlled substance and a misdemeanor for use or possession of drug paraphernalia in Madison County. Court records show Dunn is her attorney in the case.
While speaking with Exler, police noted her eyes were “bloodshot and glassy.”
Officers also noticed a “red straw with a burnt end on the floorboard behind the drivers seat,” and an “opened roll of aluminum foil on the rear passenger seat,” according to court documents.
Officers asked Dunn if he would be willing to take Exler home if she was unable to drive, which he agreed to do.
Another officer and a K-9 then arrived to perform a free air sniff of the car. According to police reports, once the K-9 reached the front passenger door, Dunn opened the door.
The officer instructed him to close it, which Dunn refused to do. The officer then tried to close it himself, but “it appeared Dunn was intentionally delaying shutting the door.”
Court documents state that because he is a defense attorney and former Idaho prosecutor, “Dunn would know that current Idaho case law does not allow a K-9, during a free air sniff, to cross the threshold and enter any part of their body into the vehicle, whether a door, a window, or any other opening.”
With the car door open, this would have allowed the K-9 to “break the threshold” of the vehicle, making the search for narcotics invalid. Officers also state that opening the car door can create changes in odors for the K-9.
The officer was able to keep control of the K-9 and it never crossed the threshold. The dog indicated that there were illegal drugs inside the vehicle.
Officers had Exler exit the car and they searched her. No weapons or contraband were found.
Dunn was then asked to exit the car and a search of his person was performed. According to the police report, the officer found an “unknown object in his right pants pocket which was approximately four inches long and had a hard edge.”
When asked what the object was, Dunn reportedly refused to let the officer take it out of his pocket and said he didn’t know what it was, but it was possibly his wallet.
The officer wrote in the police report that they “manipulated the object from outside Dunn’s pants until I felt confident it was not a dangerous weapon.”
Police also found a package of Narcan in Dunn’s upper shirt pocket, a clear baggie containing several fentanyl pills, commonly known as “dirty 30s,” and crumpled up aluminum foil in his front left pants pocket.
During a search of the car, officers found two 3×3 inch clear Ziplock baggies and a torch.
Officers asked Dunn if he had any more illegal items on him, to which Dunn said no. Officers told him that he would soon be searched at the jail, and could face additional charges if they found he was lying.
Dunn then admitted to have illegal items in his boot, where police found approximately 30 more “dirty 30s,” and several pills identified as both Xanax and Alprazolam.
Dunn and Exler were then taken to the Bonneville County Jail, where Dunn was booked and bail was set to $30,000. Exler has not been officially charged.
Dunn is the City Attorney for Roberts and Ririe. He served as the Rigby City Attorney for nearly three decades before stepping down at the end of last year to “redirect his career,” The Jefferson Star reported.
He worked as the Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney for 34 years before retiring in 2016.
Dunn posted bail Monday and was released from jail. He is expected to appear in court on April 4 for his preliminary hearing.
If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and $18,000 in fines.
EastIdahoNews.com contacted Dunn’s law office for comment but nobody answered the phone. The voicemail box was full.
Even though Dunn has been charged with a crime, he is presumed innocent until a jury finds him guilty or he pleads guilty.