Smyrna man gets eight years for drug dealing

DOVER — A 29-year-old Smyrna man received eight years in prison after a plea connected to the 10-month investigation into suspected large scale illegal drug trafficking throughout Kent County in 2014 and 2015, officials said this week.

Warner A. Henry was sentenced immediately after pleading guilty to a drug dealing count in Kent County Superior Court on Monday; remaining charges were not further prosecuted, according to defense counsel André Beauregard.

Appearing before Resident Judge William L. Witham Jr., Henry received two years for good time served, Mr. Beauregard said; with 16 approximately months already served, he has roughly 4½ years of incarceration remaining.

Warner A. Henry

Warner A. Henry

The case was scheduled for trial on Monday. Mr. Beauregard said an earlier plea deal of 25 years was presented, and Henry faced possible designation as a habitual offender.

“Having good representation pays when you are looking at life in jail and get a net of six instead,” Mr. Beauregard said. “He is a lucky man and he knows it.”

The effective sentencing date to Tier Two drug dealing was Nov. 30, 2014, at Level V, suspended after eight years, followed by six months Level IV (either work release or home confinement), followed by 18 months Level III probation, the Delaware Department of Justice said.

According to court documents, Henry also faced charges including, among others, racketeering, possession of firearm/ammunition by person prohibited, possession of firearm during the commission of a felony, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, second-degree conspiracy and possession of drug paraphernalia.

When announcing a slew of arrests in early January 2015, law enforcement described Henry as an alleged leader in a drug trafficking organization directing and distributing heroin throughout the Dover area.

Operation L.I.E. — Loyalty is Everything — was a multi-jurisdictional law enforcement investigation that began in March 2014 and ended on Jan. 9, 2015, police said at the time,

“At the conclusion of the investigation it was determined that the organization intended on mixing a deadly combination of Fentanyl and heroin for distribution throughout Kent County, Delaware,” a news release stated.

“It was at this time that the combined law enforcement agencies dismantled the drug network.”

Henry was arrested on Jan. 9, 2015, and indicted on Feb. 2, 2015. He was subsequently held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown.

At the time of his arrest, Henry was facing nine felony charges. Overall, 18 arrests were made and 150 criminal charges brought, according to authorities.

As a result of the execution of the search warrants the following items were seized (all weights are approximate):

• 39 grams of heroin

• 23 grams of suspected Fentanyl

• five handguns and ammunition

• $79,000 in suspected drug proceeds

• three motor vehicles

Roughly 50 law enforcement agents and two deputy attorneys general took part in the investigation, authorities said.

Search warrants were executed at 15 separate residences in Dover, Wilmington, Bear, Wyoming and Philadelphia, according to police.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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