Carrboro man charged with death by distribution in connection to 2022 overdose death

John Robert Small. Photo courtesy Carrboro Police Department.


By Carl Blankenship

CARRBORO — A Carrboro man has been charged for allegedly causing the overdose death of another man last year.

John Robert Small, 31, was charged with felony death by distribution, felony possession of a schedule two controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for drugs and drug paraphernalia. He is accused of causing the death of Bradley Zimmerman in July.

Small is being held in Orange County Detention Center on a $210,000 bond.

Carrboro Police Department discovered Zimmerman dead at the scene and an autopsy result showed he died from a drug overdose. As a result of the investigation into this incident. Small allegedly sold a controlled substance to Zimmerman which was the “proximate cause” of his death, according to a release from the department.

The department advises if you suspect someone is overdosing to  call 911 immediately. North Carolina’s good samaritan law provides protections to someone in an overdose state and the 911 caller if certain conditions are met. The Carrboro Police Department caries naloxone, an anti-overdose drug. The county also offers behavioral health resources for people struggling with substance abuse and other challenges.

Link to Behavioral Health Resources: Behavioral Health Resources | Orange County, NC  (

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