Drug dealer sentencing brings sense of closure to local family


After years of waiting, there’s finally some closure for a local mother whose son died from a lethal dose of heroin. A judge sentenced Aaron McDuffie to 21 years in prison for selling a deadly mix of drugs, which caused two overdose deaths.

“This epidemic is taking too many lives. too many of our children,” said Robin Ebling. It’s been four years since she last spoke to her son, Aaron, who was one of the two people who died.

“He was like the son every mama wants,” she said. “He was very much like me. He had a very loving, warm, giving generous heart.”

Aaron Ebling overdosed July of 2015 in his family’s Cheektowaga home. He was just 24 years old. “He had a lot of  dreams and that’s the hardest part,” she said. 

Arron Ebling was one of two men who died after taking a dangerous dose of heroin cut with a substance similar to fentanyl. Monday his dealer, Aaron McDuffie was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison.

“Yesterday was such a huge relief for myself, my husband, my son, my brother,” said Robin Ebling. “It was such a relief. It’s over that fight is over.” 

McDuffie is one of the first drug dealers to be charged in Western New York following the death of a drug user. “They’re not going to be out there on the street anymore selling this stuff and maybe it will send a strong message,” said Robin Ebling.  

While this is a huge step in the right direction , Robin says more needs to be done and her next fight is to get more impatient beds across our region. 

“A week before he passed, before he overdosed here at home he said he needed more help that he couldn’t do it on his own,” she said. “He was waiting for an impatient bed.  Unfortunately the call didn’t come in time and he overdosed.”

Robin is now a reap angel on the Erie County Opiate Task Force.
She wants to help prevent this from happening to another family and says she does it in honor or her son, Aaron. 

“He’s with me all the time you know? And hes still loved and thought and loved about by his family and his friends,” she said. “We’re very blessed to have had him in our life.” 

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