SCI investigators intercept contraband Suboxone, arrest nine


Investigators at the Sussex Correctional Institute (SCI) in Georgetown recently initiated a proactive search regarding the introduction of Suboxone into the facility. The investigation, known as “Operation Sunkist,” resulted in the arrest of several sentenced inmates, as well as multiple civilians who were allegedly sending the contraband through the mail.

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

Their investigation revealed that inmate Johnny Shockley had allegedly received or attempted to receive eight Suboxone shipments from 35-year-old Jeremy Piatt of New Castle between April 1 and July 8. In an attempt to divert the source, officials said, Shockley allegedly employed inmates John Winter, Steven Schaeffer and Thomas Bundick to accept the packages containing contraband.

Piatt was charged with Racketeering, eight counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver, eight counts of Conspiracy 2nd, eight counts of Conspiracy 3rd and eight counts of Promoting Prison Contraband. He was taken into custody by the New Castle County Police Department and subsequently committed to the Department of Correction in lieu of bail.

Shockley was charged with Racketeering, eight counts of Possession with Intent to Deliver, eight counts of Criminal Solicitation 2nd, eight counts of Conspiracy 2nd, eight counts of Conspiracy 3rd and eight counts of Promoting Prison Contraband. Shockley is currently serving an unrelated sentence.

Bundick was charged with two counts of Conspiracy 3rd and two counts of Promoting Prison Contraband. Winter was charged with Conspiracy 3rd and Promoting Prison Contraband. Schaeffer was charged with five counts of Conspiracy 3rd and five counts of Promoting Prison Contraband for his alleged role in the enterprise.

Officials said inmate Dustin Drew also allegedly received one Suboxone strip from his mother, Sharon Drew of Harbeson. He was charged with Criminal Solicitation, Conspiracy 2nd, Promoting Prison Contraband and Conspiracy 3rd. Sharon Drew was arrested for Possession with Intent to Deliver, Conspiracy 2nd, Promoting Prison Contraband and Conspiracy 3rd. She was released on unsecured bail.

Sarah Keil, 36, of Millsboro, was also 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, Conspiracy 2nd, Promoting Prison Contraband and Conspiracy 3rd. She was released on unsecured bail. Moore was charged with two counts each of Criminal Solicitation, Conspiracy 2nd, Promoting Prison Contraband and Conspiracy 3rd. He was serving an unrelated sentence at the time.

In all, nine individuals were arrested, with a total of 138 charges and 19 administrative disciplinary charges.