Eastern District of Louisiana | Tangipahoa Parish Residents Indicted for Drug Distribution Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Firearm Offenses

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANAMARK FRIDGE, III (“FRIDGE”), age 22, SHYHEIM PINES (“PINES”), age 29, and KAWAIISHH BROWN (“BROWN”), age 50, all of Tangipahoa Parish, were indicted on June 28, 2024 for violations of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, including distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury, and violations of the Federal Gun Control Act, announced United States Attorney Duane A. Evans. 

According to court documents, FRIDGE, PINES and BROWN were indicted for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a substance containing forty grams or more of a detectable amount of fentanyl, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(B), and 846, and conspiracy to distribute a substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C), and 846.  FRIDGE was indicted on two counts of distribution of a substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 841(b)(1)(C).  PINES and BROWN were indicted for possession with intent to distribute fifty (50) grams of more of methamphetamine and quantities of cocaine and fentanyl, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 841(b)(1)(B), and possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(c)(1)(A)(i).  BROWN was also indicted for being a felon in possession of firearms, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 922(g)(1) and 924(a)(8).

If convicted of the drug conspiracy count, FRIDGE, PINES, and BROWN face a mandatoryminimum term of imprisonment of five years and up to a maximum term of imprisonment of forty years, a fine of up to $5,000,000.00, and at least four years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. For the conspiracy and distribution resulting in serious bodily injury counts, FRIDGE, PINES, and BROWN face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of twenty years and up to a maximum term of imprisonment of life, a fine of up to $1,000,000.00, and at least three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  For the possession with intent to distribute counts, PINES and BROWN face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of ten years and up to a maximum term of imprisonment of life, a fine of up to $10,000,000.00, and at least five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. For the possession of firearms in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime counts, PINES and BROWN face a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and up to a maximum term of imprisonment of life to run consecutively to any other sentence imposed, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and up to five years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  For the felon in possession count, BROWN faces a maximum term of imprisonment of fifteen years, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and up to three years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.  FRIDGE, PINES and BROWN, individually, also face payment of a $100 mandatory special assessment fee for each count of conviction.  

U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charging document and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Fentanyl Overdose Response Team (FORT), which is comprised of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Hammond Police Department, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office, 21st Judicial District Court, as well as the Southeastern Louisiana University Police Department.

The Fentanyl Overdose Response Team (FORT) is a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) led initiative aimed at reducing the number of fentanyl-related poisonings.  FORT investigates both fatal and non-fatal fentanyl poisonings to identify the drug trafficker(s) responsible and help bring them to justice.  FORT is a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional initiative led by DEA’s New Orleans Division.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Lauren Sarver and André Jones of the Narcotics Unit.



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