MORGAN CITY — 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 while Lafayette detectives searched his business, Olabisi Aromas LLC.
According to Olabisi Aromas’ website, the business is located at 3302 Johnston St., suite F.
Detectives searching Ruffin’s home in Franklin, located at 2465 Irish Bend Road, said they discovered a “synthetic cannabinoid manufacturing operation,” Landry said.
Detectives also said they found synthetic pot valued at $10,000, three handguns, digital scales, Lortab pills, ingredients needed to make synthetic marijuana and $83,000 in cash, which was seized, Landry said.
The money is believed to be proceeds from illegal drugs sales and could be forfeited.
Ruffin turned himself in to St. Mary Parish authorities on Wednesday. He is being held in the St. Mary Parish Law Enforcement Center in Centerville where bond was set at $305,000, Landry said.
Landry said Ruffin also faces charges in Lafayette Parish.