Sarah Jane Robinson, a homeless mother of six, made national headlines and received community support last month after a police officer paid for diapers that she was caught shoplifting.
On Friday, Ms. Robinson was arrested again, this time by the United States Marshals Service. According to the Kansas City Journal, she is being held until she is transferred to appear on a drug charge in a U.S. District Court in St. Louis, MO.
Ms. Robinson was indicted by a federal grand jury in St Louis for knowingly and intentionally possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it. According to the released documents, the alleged crime occurred in March 2014, in Lincoln County, Missouri.
Federal prosecutors have asked that Ms. Robinson be detained pending trial because she is facing up to 20 years in jail if she is found guilty. Prosecutors also say that there is a serious risk that she will flee.
Ms. Robinson made national headlines when she and her daughter were stopped for shoplifting at a Walmart on July 6. Roeland Park Police Officer Mark Engravalle, who was dispatched to the Walmart, asked her if she had any money to pay for the items that she stole. She started crying and told him that she didn’t.
Instead of taking her to jail, officer Engravalle felt bad for her and her children, who were walking around barefoot. He decided to pay for the items that she had stolen and also bought shoes for her children.
His act of kindness generated a lot of national attention in the media and inspired other people to help the family. People sent Ms. Robinson and her children clothes, food, blankets and cash. According to the Roeland Park Police Department, they received more than $6,000 in donations.
At the time of the incident, Ms. Robinson expressed gratitude to officer Engravalle for helping her out instead of arresting her. She also talked about how blessed she felt because a few people had reached out to her and offered her a place to live. She said that “we went from staying in a car and renting a room to now being able to look for a place to live and pick out a place that we can like and it’s not falling down and gross.”