by Tommy Carnline, Chief of Staff, RPSO
In early December, the Rapides Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) Unit began receiving community complaints in reference to illegal narcotics being sold out of a residence on Peggy Ann Street in Alexandria, LA. As their investigation began, Agents identified the suspect as James Eric Freeman, 49 of Alexandria.
After a several week investigation, Agents learned Freeman was selling Fentanyl and possibly even Carfentanil from his residence. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid approximately one hundred times more potent than Fentanyl. Due to this information, and in the interest of public safety, Agents decided not to prolong the investigation.
On December 15th, 2022, Agents conducting surveillance on Freeman observed him leaving his residence driving a blue Lincoln Town Car. A Deputy assigned to the RPSO Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) initiated a traffic stop on the blue car that Freeman was driving. A RADE K-9 unit also responded to conduct an open air sniff on the vehicle. A positive alert was indicated by the K-9 and a search of the Lincoln Town Car was conducted. A digital scale with an unknown white powdery substance on the scale was located within the passenger compartment of the car. This information, along with other probable cause factors, led RADE Agents to secure a search warrant for Freeman’s residence.
During a search of the residence, a bag of an unknown white powdery substance suspected to be Fentanyl or Carfentanil was found. This suspected Carfentanil was later determined to weigh 19.0 grams (two-thirds of an ounce). James Eric Freeman was placed under arrest and transported to the Rapides Parish Detention Center where he was booked for Possession of CDS II (Fentanyl or Carfentanil) with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Agents learned Freeman was on parole through the Louisiana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole Agents, Freeman was also arrested for a Parole Violation. Freeman remains in jail at the time of this release in lieu of a $100,500.00 bond and a Parole Violation hold.
A Deputy/Task Force Officer assigned to the FBI Safe Street Task Force will be working with RADE Agents and the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution at the federal level. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as 2 milligrams of Carfentanil can kill a person. Translated, the amount seized by RADE Agents could potentially kill 9500 people.
Agents say their investigation is still ongoing.
The Rapides Area Drug Enforcement (RADE) Unit is a multi-jurisdictional team comprised of the Alexandria Police Department, Ball Police Department, Boyce Police Department, Cheneyville Police Department, Forest Hill Police Department, Glenmora Police Department, Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office Lecompte Police Department, McNary Police Department, Pineville Police Department, Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office, Woodworth Police Department, Grant Parish District Attorney’s Office and the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office.
The RADE Unit continues to target individuals suspected of trafficking narcotics in the Central Louisiana area. If you have information or would like to report any narcotics activity, you may do so by sending direct messages to the Rapides Area Drug Enforcement Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RADEunit/.
Arrestee: James Eric Freeman, 49
3-A Peggy Ann Street, Alexandria, LA
Charges: Possession of CDS II (Fentanyl or Carfentanil) with Intent to Distribute
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
Chief of Staff / PIO
Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office
318-449 -5480 (office)
318-449 -5466 (fax)
318-308 -6594 (cell)