Woman sentenced in case involving children to traffick heroin


BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A New Jersey woman will spend at least 15 years in prison for trafficking heroin in a network that stretched from New Jersey to Brunswick County.

According to a news release from the Brunswick County District Attorney’s office, a jury convicted Cherelle Renee Hills of three counts of trafficking heroin and possession with the intent to manufacture, sell and deliver heroin, crack cocaine, suboxone, and spice.

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The case arose out of a long term investigation initiated by the Sunset Beach Police Department, who were later joined by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.

These agencies working together uncovered a network of heroin trafficking from Camden, New Jersey to Brunswick County and other areas in between.

On March 10Hills’ vehicle was stopped based on information gathered by these agencies on NC Highway 17 traveling south through Leland.

Hill was driving a three row van that was occupied by two small children and two adult men.

A search conducted by the Brunswick County Special Operations Unit revealed over 2,300 individual doses of heroin located in children’s snack cake boxes and then were resealed.

Officers also located 120 doses of crack cocaine, Suboxone, and synthetic cannabinoids.  Hills, nor either of the two adults present are the parents of the two children.

“Regrettably, this was not the first case where children have been used in Brunswick County to traffic heroin,” ADA Chris Thomas said in a news release. “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.”