BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A woman from New Jersey was sentenced in Brunswick County after using children to help traffic heroin along the east coast.
A multi-agency, long term investigation revealed Cherelle Hills was part of a network that was trafficking heroin from Camden, NJ to Brunswick County and other areas in between.
Hills was stopped while driving on NC Highway 17 in Leland in March 2018. Two children and two men were in the van she was driving at the time; but Hills, nor either of the men were parents of the children.
During a search, authorities found more than 2,300 individual doses of heroin located in resealed children's snack cake boxes. Officers also found 120 doses of crack cocaine, suboxne, and synthetic cannabinoids.
“Regrettably, this was not the first case where children have been used in Brunswick County to traffic heroin,” said ADA Chris Thomas. “I hope the sentence imposed in this case will deter those who attempt similar tactics, but also deter anyone who chooses to bring this poison to our community. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to help those who are battling addiction but also wage a war against those individuals that profit on the backs of their misery.”
Hills was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison.
Hills and her codefendents were the first to be held under the District’s $1 million bond policy for heroin dealers. The initiative was instated as a way to help battle the opioid crisis.