An Upper Bucks woman who described herself as the drug “kingpin” of the Bucks County Correctional Facility in Doylestown will spend up to 20 years in state prison for running a methamphetamine ring that authorities say exploited vulnerable, drug-addicted women.
Shayla Hadley, 24, of Quakertown, pleaded guilty Thursday to 14 felony counts related to the distribution of methamphetamine to inmates at the Bucks County Correctional Facility, including dealing in unlawful proceeds, contraband charges and conspiracy.
Hadley had previously admitted to authorities that she smuggled a large quantity of meth into the jail on Jan. 7, 2018, and for the next several days dispensed the drugs to other inmates in exchange for money deposited into her commissary account. In just a few days her scheme brought in approximately $700.
Hadley, who entered the jail while high, hid the drugs inside a pill bottle, which she secreted inside her vagina, according to police.
To distribute the drugs, they said Hadley enlisted at least 11 other inmates housed with her in a section of the prison known as “the bubble” that is designed to address the recovery needs of women with drug addictions.
Authorities say she plied the women–some of whom had been detoxing–with free drugs as both payment and a form of manipulation, telling them that “if one of us goes down, we all go down” and “if we all do this together, no one can tell on us.”
Hadley referred to herself in recorded prison phone calls as a “Kingpin” and “El Chapo,” and bragged that “no one can touch me,” the Bucks County District Attorney said.
“This case is all about meth, money and malice,” said Assistant District Attorney Ashley C. Towhey. “Shayla Hadley did not care one bit about any of these defendants she was exploiting. All she cared about was herself, her money and her commissary.”
Reading a prepared statement prior to her sentencing, Hadley offered Judge Rea B. Boylan her “sincerest apologies,” saying she showed “blatant carelessness and disregard for the law” when selling drugs in prison.
She highlighted her own addiction issues, though she added that she could not place sole blame for her actions on her drug use.
But Towhey, who prosecuted Hadley and her co-defendants, argued that Hadley showed her true self when a member of her jailhouse drug operation experienced an adverse reaction to meth and required urgent medical attention. While other inmates rushed to the woman’s aid, Hadley instead said she should be left alone, the court was told.
That incident, in which the inmate needed to be hospitalized, proved to be the drug ring’s undoing, according to authorities.
Judge Boylan, who sentenced Hadley to consecutive state prison terms totaling 10 to 20 years, noted that Hadley not only exploited her co-defendants, but also expressed no remorse before deciding to enter her guilty plea.
“You, in a predatory way, took advantage of the circumstances of the women who were with you,” Boylan said.
The judge also ordered Hadley to serve a concurrent sentence of one to two years for a separate possession with intent to deliver charge resulting from a traffic stop by Pennridge Regional Police in West Rockhill Township.
The prison drug kingpin case was investigated by Bucks County detectives and investigators from the Bucks County Correctional Facility.
Also prosecuted as a result of the investigation were 42-year-old Bree Allison Taylor, of Bedminster, and 32-year-old Aleah Marie Moore, of Bensalem.
Considered Hadley’s second-in-command, Taylor entered a negotiated guilty plea April 2 and received a sentence of four-and-a-half to nine years in state prison.
Moore was sentenced to two to five years in state prison after entering an open guilty plea the same day.
Other defendants who entered open guilty pleas to lesser charges were sentenced as follows: Alexis Hall, 25, three to 23 months in county prison; Kristen Horn, 31, 36 months of probation, 50 hours of community service; Megan Hartwell, 34, 24 months of probation; Dominique Menichella, 25, 12 months of probation; Nicole Auslander, 37, 36 months of probation; Barbara Bailey-Dawson, 47, 12 months of probation; and Rachel Engelmann, 25, 36 months of probation.
Cases for two additional defendants–Nicole Tregea, 40, and Alicyn Faller, 24–remain open. Tregea has pleaded guilty and is expected to be sentenced next week.