Nine charged in Sussex prison drug smuggling probe

27dsn SCI arrests1GEORGETOWN — Nine arrests resulted after investigation into alleged smuggling of Suboxone into Sussex Correctional Institution, officials said Friday.

According to the Delaware Department of Correction, investigators conducted a proactive search dubbed “Operation Sunkist” that brought the arrests of several sentenced inmates and civilians who were allegedly sending contraband through U.S. mail.

The nine arrests included 138 total charges and 19 administrative disciplinary charges.

According to the DOC, between June 3 and July 21, several shipments of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid dependence, were allegedly concealed by various methods and intercepted in the SCI mail room.

Authorities said investigators found Johnny Shockley allegedly received, or attempted to receive, eight Suboxone shipments from 35-year-old Jeremy Piatt between April 1 and July 8. In an attempt to divert the source, the DOC claimed, Mr. Shockley employed inmates John Winter, Steven Schaeffer, and Thomas Bundick to accept the packages containing contraband.

Mr. Piatt, of New Castle, was charged with racketeering, and eight counts each of possession with intent to deliver, second-degree conspiracy, third-degree conspiracy, and promoting prison contraband. He was taken into custody by the New Castle County Police Department and subsequently committed to the DOC in lieu of bail.

Mr. Shockley was charged with racketeering, and eight counts each of possession with intent to deliver, second-degree criminal solicitation, second-degree conspiracy, third-degree conspiracy, and promoting prison contraband. He is currently serving an unrelated sentence.

Mr. Bundick was charged with two counts each of third-degree conspiracy and promoting prison contraband.

Mr. Winter was charged with third-degree conspiracy and promoting prison contraband.

Mr. Schaeffer was charged with five counts each of third-degree conspiracy and promoting prison contraband.

Dustin Drew allegedly received one Suboxone strip from his mother Sharon Drew, authorities said. He was charged with criminal solicitation, second-degree conspiracy, promoting prison contraband, and third-degree conspiracy.

Ms. Drew, of Harbeson, was arrested for possession with intent to deliver, second-degree conspiracy, promoting prison contraband, and third-degree conspiracy. She was released on unsecured bail.

Sarah Keil, 36, of Millsboro, was arrested after she allegedly sent two packages containing Suboxone to SCI inmate Andrew Moore. She was charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver, second-degree conspiracy, promoting prison contraband, and third-degree conspiracy. She was released on unsecured bail.

Mr. Moore was charged with two counts each of criminal solicitation, second-degree conspiracy, promoting prison contraband, and third-degree conspiracy. He was serving an unrelated sentence at the time.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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