GRETNA, LA (WGNO) — The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office announced the prison sentences Monday afternoon, Oct. 3, for two brothers in connection with separate synthetic marijuana operations in Jefferson Parish.
Henry Bentel, 35, of Metairie and Ronald Bentel, 36, of Folsom were sentenced to 17 and 10 years in prison respectively. Both pleaded guilty.
According to prosecutors, the pair ran parallel but separate drug operations that included the largest synthetic narcotics distribution ring in Jefferson Parish which controlled all synthetic marijuana sales on the east bank of the parish for a period of time.
The Bentel’s cases first came to light more than four years ago when Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand announced the arrests of several suspects and displayed everything from cash to synthetic pot and expensive toys that were confiscated in the investigation. The case was featured on WGNO’s Wheel of Justice.
The photo gallery below includes photos of the money seized (as much as $800,000) that has Ronald Bentel’s name on the evidence bag as well as the store the brothers operated and other evidence in the case.
Normand also said that the brothers imported the chemicals to make the fake pot from Canada and China and sold the product in a store that they owned called The Rob Shop as well as other businesses in the parish.
According to prosecutors, at the height of the operation, the Bentels and others rented houses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to manufacture the synthetic drug, producing 300 pounds per week and selling under the label name POW for $10 a gram or $20 for three grams.
Both brothers pleaded guilty to a list of charges in the case last month.