ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A Sunset man has been arrested after authorities located a pill manufacturing facility and distribution hub, according to the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office (SLPSO).
Benjamin I. Pittman, Sr., 43, of Sunset, was charged with the following:
- Possession with intent to distribute schedule I CDS (Fentanyl)
- Manufacturing of a schedule III CDS
- Possession with intent to distribute schedule III CDS
- Illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of a CDS (four counts)
- Felon in possession of a firearm (four counts)
- Transactions involving proceeds from drug offenses
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Possession with intent to distribute schedule II CDS (Hydrocodone)
“The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team (N.E.T.) arrested one suspect for multiple drug and weapons charges. The N.E.T has been conducting numerous hours of surveillance, including undercover investigative tools and tips from the general public, to confirm the manufacturing and distribution of suspected fentanyl, marijuana, pill manufacturing and distribution. With the information from the extensive surveillance hours and calls from concerned citizens, detectives were able to take enforcement action,” said Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.
SLPSO said that detectives made contact with Pittman and advised him of the investigation and a search warrant, which would be conducted on his residence.
During the search, detectives located a major pill manufacturing facility and distribution hub inside the residence. SLPSO said that it contained different pill presses and mixers for the illegal manufacturing of pills.
The following was also found, according to SLPSO:
- Four guns
- Suspected “crack” cocaine
- Suspected marijuana
- Suspected illegal manufactured Xanax
- An assortment of other types of pills
- 5.2 pounds of suspected fentanyl
- Packaging materials for distribution
- A large amount of ingredients for manufacturing pills
- Around 1,875 assorted pills
Pittman was then arrested and booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on a $150,250 bond.
According to SLPSO, the amount of fentanyl found in Pittman’s possession has the potential to kill approximately 1,250,000 people.
“This is, by far, the most significant and largest fentanyl confiscation and also the most elaborate pill manufacturing operation in the history of St. Landry Parish,” Sheriff Guidroz said.