GEORGETOWN, Del. — For the last eight years, 32-year-old coastal Delaware native Chase Fehrenbach has woken up each morning in a small, cold jail cell in Sussex Correctional Institute (SCI) in Georgetown, Del.
He doesn’t look like most of the other hardened criminals who reside behind the walls and the razor wire fences of one of the First State’s oldest and highest security prisons. He’s a fit, good looking fella with sincere and almost piercing eyes, a kind demeanor and an intellectual and introspective vernacular. He’s quite an artist as well. Yet, Fehrenbach wasn’t always this person.
Eight years ago, Fehrenbach was a full blown heroin junkie, who, in order to feed his growing need for the powerful drug, went on a crime spree that included armed robbery, theft and burglary that landed him in prison for a staggering 21-year sentence for an essential first time offense.
Growing up as a kid on the coast, Fehrenbach seemingly had it all: good family, close friends and a loving girlfriend who would soon become his fiancé. Like many youths, Fehrenbach used alcohol and drugs recreationally in his mid to late teens, but in his early 20’s, he was prescribed pain pills after getting his wisdom teeth removed and he says, that triggered what he now realizes was a “rampantly addictive personality.” The pill addiction quickly intensified and turned to full blown heroin use.