7 sentenced in New Castle County, prison heroin ring

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE (3/20/2015)  Seven members of a heroin distribution organization involving inmates in Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution and residents of the Swanwyck and Collins Park areas near New Castle were sentenced today in Superior Court.

Irene Hollis, 35, of New Castle, described by the Department of Justice as leader of the ring, pleaded guilty to Tier 5 drug dealing, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit racketeering. She was sentenced by Judge Mary Miller Johnston to 25 years in prison.

While in prison on drug charges in 2012, Hollis made phone calls to other members of her organization to discuss their drug dealing, said Carl Kanefsky, spokesman for the Department of Justice. She also made arrangements to smuggle oxycodone and heroin into the prison, he said. The calls were detected by the Department of Correction’s Office of Internal Affairs. She was arrested again in June 2014 on drug and conspiracy charges.

In addition to Hollis, the others sentenced today were:

  • Aaron Hollis (Irene Hollis’s brother), 29, of New Castle, to 10 years at Level 5
  • Christopher Shweda, 35, of New Castle, was declared a habitual offender on drug dealing and sentenced to 6 years Level 5
  • Robert Garrett, 29, of New Castle, to 2½ years at Level 5
  • Arturo Guerrero, 22, of New Castle, to 18 months at Level 5
  • Sara Breeding, 34, of Greenwood, to 15 months at Level 5
  • Shannon Macey, 25, of New Castle, to 1 year at Level 3 probation.

Two additional defendants, Mallory Read, 28, of New Castle, and Chris Dougherty, 31, of New Castle, will be sentenced at a later date. Angel Ortiz, 30, of New Castle, previously pleaded guilty to racketeering and is serving a two-year prison sentence.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorneys General Joseph Grubb, Kate Keller, David Holloway and Barzilai Axelrod.

The chief investigating officer was Detective Peter Stewart of the New Castle County Police Department.

The Department of Justice, Probation and Parole, Delaware State Police, Department of Correction, and the Delaware Army National Guard assisted New Castle County police in searches at various residences and multiple jail cells in the Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington and Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution near New Castle, Kanefsky said.