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Former Knight Oil head pleads no contest in drug-planting conspiracy

Posted: 2:20 PM, Aug 20, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-20 16:16:32-04
Mark Knight
Mark Knight. Courtesy Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office

The former head of Knight Oil Tools entered a plea of no contest Monday in the drug-planting scheme he orchestrated in effort to take financial control of the family company.

Mark Knight, 61, originally was charged with two counts of racketeering. As part of his plea agreement, he entered no-contest pleas to amended charges of corrupt influencing and public bribery.

Knight’s sentencing is set for Dec. 5.

He faces up to five years with or without hard labor on the public bribery conviction, as well as a fine up to $1,000. On the corrupt influencing charge, he faces up to 10 years in prison, with or without hard labor, and a fine up to $10,000.

As part of the plea agreement, he also may have to forfeit $90,000, or the total amount of money he paid to three other men, two of them law-enforcement officers, in a plot to frame his brother with drugs.

According to the factual basis of the plea as read in court, Knight stands convicted of orchestrating and paying for a scheme to plant tracking devices and drugs on his brother’s vehicle, then conspiring with law enforcement to have his brother arrested with the narcotics.

A former Knight Oil Tools employee, a former State Police trooper and a former deputy with the Lafayette Parish Metro Narcotics Task Force all pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme .

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