On April 17, 2018, Brandon Payton of 212 Vatican Dr. Donaldsonville, LA., age 31, pled guilty to Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule I Controlled Dangerous Substance (2 counts), Aggravated Criminal Damage to Property, Aggravated Flight from an Officer, and Possession with Intent to Distribute a Schedule II Controlled Dangerous Substance. This guilty plea was the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors following a 2017 arrest.
On February 26, 2017 shortly before 10:00 pm, patrol deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office observed a male subject identified as Brandon Payton, who was known to have an active warrant for his arrest, traveling in a brown Mercedes SUV it the city of Donaldsonville. Deputies tailed the vehicle and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Payton refused to stop, and a pursuit ensued. After leaving the city limits of Donaldsonville, Payton continued to flee southbound on LA 308 towards Assumption Parish at a high rate of speed. Due to dangerous road conditions, deputies began to back off and terminate the pursuit. At this time, deputies observed Payton’s vehicle become airborne and catch fire upon striking a residence along LA 308. Deputies rushed to the crash scene and were able to successfully pull Payton from the burning vehicle, and evacuate the residence which became engulfed with flames. Payton was transported to a local hospital where he was evaluated for minor injuries. During a search of Payton’s person, deputies located a quantity of individually wrapped clear plastic baggies containing quantities of heroin and methamphetamine packaged for sale. In addition, deputies located just under $1,000 in cash. Upon being cleared by medical staff, Payton was transported to the Ascension Parish Detention Center where he was booked accordingly.
On June 10, 2017 while incarcerated at the Ascension Parish Detention Center, jail staff received information indicating that Payton was receiving card stock paper via mail that had been sprayed with a chemical base which caused a high similar to that caused by marijuana and selling this to other inmates. Detectives began searching Payton’s belongings and located the card stock paper that was described. Detectives collected the card stock paper as evidence and submitted it to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab for analysis. It was determined that the chemicals on the paper were ingredients commonly used during the production and manufacturing of synthetic cannabinoids. Payton was subsequently booked on charges relating to this event.
Upon entering a guilty plea to the above-mentioned charges, as per the plea agreement with prosecutors, Payton was sentenced to 17 years at hard labor with the Louisiana Department of Corrections with credit for time served.