Lafayette business CEO wanted on racketeering charges turns himself in

Lafayette business CEO wanted on racketeering charges turns himself in

LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - The CEO of Knight Oil Tools has turned himself in to authorities after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Mark Knight has been arrested by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office and charged with racketeering after an investigation into a narcotics arrest that happened in June 2014.

A Deputy with the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office and a Trooper with the Louisiana State Police were also arrested and charged with racketeering in connection to the June 2014 arrest. A warrant has also been issued for one of the Knight Oil Tools employees.

Lafayette Metro Narcotics Task Force arrested Bryan Knight in 2014 after being given an anonymous tip. Agents found two containers magnetically attached to the undercarriage of Bryan Knight's vehicle. Illegal narcotics were found in the containers.

In March 2015, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office received information alleging Bryan Knight's arrest was the result of a scheme purposely planned and staged.

During the investigation, deputies learned the magnetic cases recovered from the undercarriage of Knight's vehicle were purchased by Knight Oil Tools at the request of Russell Manual, an employee who answered directly to the CEO Mark Knight. The cases are manufactured to house GPS tracking devices.

The devices, along with emails and text messages to and from Russell Manual's cell phone, corroborated that Manual participated in a scheme to place drugs on Bryan Knight's vehicle and call law enforcement to arrange for the stop and arrest of Knight, according to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office.

According to court documents, two law enforcement officers were consulted to arrange for the stop and arrest of Bryan Knight; Jason Kinch, a Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Deputy, and Corey Jackson, a Louisiana State Trooper.

Kinch and Jackson were consulted to provide specific information intended to enhance the possibilities of Bryan Knight's unlawful arrest. Through statements from Russell Manual, documents say Mark Knight did pay or arrange payment in excess of $100,000 in cash and gifts directly or indirectly to Kinch, Jackson and Manual in exchange for committing conspiracy.

Arrest warrants were issued for Knight, Deputy Kinch and Trooper Jackson.

Mark Knight has been booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on the charge of Racketeering. His bond has been set at $100,000.

A warrant has also been issued for Russell Manual on the charges of criminal conspiracy, possession of cocaine, possession of lortab, possession of methadone, extortion and intimidating a witness.

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