franklin — St. Mary Parish narcotics agents arrested a Franklin man this week suspected of manufacturing synthetic marijuana in his Franklin home and selling the man-made cannabis at his aromatherapy store in Lafayette.
The investigation into Mark Ruffin Sr., 40, is a joint effort of St. Mary detectives and the Lafayette Metro Narcotics Division, St. Mary Sheriff’s spokeswoman Traci Landry said in a release.
Ruffin was booked Wednesday on several counts, including drug manufacturing and distribution and illegal firearms possession.
On Monday, detectives with the St. Mary Sheriff’s Office searched Ruffin’s home in the 2400 block of Irish Bend Road in Franklin, while Lafayette detectives searched his business, Olabisi Aromas LLC, 3302 Johnston St., suite F.
Detectives searching Ruffin’s home discovered a “synthetic cannabinoid manufacturing operation,” Landry said, along with synthetic pot valued at $10,000, three handguns, digital scales, Lortab pills and $83,000 in cas believed to be the proceeds of illegal drugs sales.
Ruffin, who also faces charges in Lafayette Parish, turned himself in to St. Mary Parish authorities on Wednesday and is being held in the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center in Centerville on $305,000 bond, Landry said.
Postal carrier shooting suspect shot by officer
LAFAYETTE — A Lafayette police officer shot and wounded a man Thursday who was suspected of earlier shooting at a postal carrier in the 1100 block of West Gilman Street, officials said.
Police received a call at 1:20 p.m. about someone who had shot at a mail carrier, and arriving police officers found that a U.S. Postal Service truck had been hit, Lt. Paul Mouton said in a news release.
“Officers located and confronted the armed suspect in the driveway of 1119 W. Gilman St.,” Mouton said. “As a result of the confrontation, a Lafayette police officer fired at the suspect multiple times, striking the suspect.”
Police late Thursday identified the suspect as David Sonnier, 39, of Lafayette. Sonnier was release from the hospital and booked into Lafayette parish Correctional Center on one count each of attempted first degree murder and attempted second degree murder.
Lafayette’s Officer Involved Shooting Team is investigating the incident. The FBI also is looking into the incident because the shooting involved a U.S. postal carrier, who is a federal employee, Mouton said.
Man fleeing police hits courthouse column
ABBEVILLE — A man fleeing police with an escapee from a juvenile jail inside his car crashed into the Vermilion Parish Courthouse early Thursday, causing his black Ford 500 to catch on fire, police said.
Rescued from the burning car was the driver, Tawaski Lewis, who suffered a broken leg. Lewis’ age and address were not available.
Also emerging from the car was an unidentified juvenile who had escaped from juvenile detention and another man who was not identified, Abbeville Police Lt. David Hardy said in a news release.
Police were chasing Lewis and the others because officers believed that inside the car was illegal drugs and weapons, Hardy said. He said police later found a firearm on one of the streets where the chase occurred.
Hardy the chase ended when Lewis ran into a column on the west side of the courthouse.
Further arrests are anticipated, Hardy said.
Arrests posted March 27, 2014, on the Lafayette Parish sheriff’s website:
- HEATHER ANDERSON: 28, of the 200 block of Despan Street, Lafayette. She was booked on aggravated battery; fugitive; and misdemeanor issuing worthless checks.
- TAMIRA R. ANTOINE: 35, of the 1600 block of East Simcoe Street, Lafayette. She was booked on municipal purposes.
- CARL BATISTE: 42, of the 700 block of Eddison Street, Lafayette. He was booked on two counts of probation violation.
- JEREMIE SCOTT CESSAC: 35, of the 700 block of South State, Abbeville. He was booked on five counts of warrant/bench warrant.
- GREGORY CHAMPAGNE: 33, of the 300 block of Peg Lane, Lafayette. He was booked on warrant/bench warrant.
- LARRY J. CHARLOT: 51, of the 100 block of Lorie Street, Opelousas. He was booked on nine counts of fugitive and nine counts of misdemeanor issuing worthless checks.
- CHASE LAWRENCE DOMINGUE: 28, of the 100 block of Pinecrest Lane, Duson. He was booked on prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia).
Jamie Lynn Gonzales: 32, of the 100 block of Country Living Drive, Lafayette. She was booked on prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia).
- DENISE MICHELLE HELAIRE: 34, of the 1100 block of North St. Charles, Lafayette. She was booked on misdemeanor theft.
Kelly Leyva: 32, of the 200 block of Buttercup Drive, Lafayette. She was booked on misdemeanor possession of marijuana; possession of alcoholic beverages in a vehicle; and prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia).
- SHANE V. PARENTEAU: 25, of the 11 block of Lofton Cemetary Road, Pineville. He was booked for Rapides Parish.
Brandy Jean Patterson: 31, of the 400 block of Chemin Metairie, Youngsville. She was booked on warrant/bench warrant.
- SKYLER LANE PLEASANTS: 20, of the 200 block of Second Street, Youngsville. She was booked on felony theft.
- ROBIN JAY STRONG: 22, of the 300 block of Kirkstall Drive, Houston. He was booked on two counts of attempted simple burglary; criminal trespass; and resisting an officer.
- JANET ANN THOMAS: 50, of the 300 block of Golden Grain Road, Duson. She was booked on distribution or possession with intent to distribute Schedule II narcotics; prohibited activities (drug paraphernalia); and sale, distribution or possession of prescription drugs without prescription.
- RAMON VALDEZ: 22, of the 1000 block of Champagne Road, Lafayette. He was booked on for St. Martin Parish.
- RYAN PAUL WILLIAMS: 38, of the 3800 block of North Timbers Court, Harvey. He was booked on two counts of warrant/bench warrant.
Dezin Darnell Young Sr.: 42, of the 300 block of Egly Street, Morgan City. He was booked on warrant/bench warrant.