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Baton Rouge activist implicated in major drug bust, has lengthy criminal past

1 year 1 month 1 week ago Monday, May 08 2023 May 8, 2023 May 08, 2023 11:00 PM May 08, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- Some community leaders call Marvin Payne a positive influence in Baton Rouge, but on Tuesday afternoon he turned himself in at the East Baton Rouge Parish Jail for an active warrant on drug charges. 

Payne has a criminal history dating back to 2008. His arrests range from possession of drugs, weapons and second-degree murder. These new charges stem from a major drug bust in Zion City. Payne's lawyer, Harry Daniels, told WBRZ Tuesday afternoon that these new charges are bogus.

"We've learned that Mr. Payne has an arrest warrant for some charges that we believe are false," Daniels told WBRZ.

Deputies say they seized a large amount of heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and firearms while executing search warrants in Zion City. Payne's arrest report says he is accused of having two cooking containers coated with fentanyl residue, and a kitchen cabinet coated with both cocaine and fentanyl residue.

Arrest documents from 2021 say Payne was a leader of a gang called "5400 Boys." It says Payne was accused of distributing heroin, cocaine and other illegal substances.

An indictment from February 2022 says Payne was involved in the second-degree murder of Jordan Jenkins.

The head of the local NAACP, Eugene Collins, defended Payne after his latest arrest, pointing out that the organization awarded Payne the Presidents Award just last year.

"I chose to give him that award, fully knowing all of that," Eugene Collins said of Payne's record. "Not only do I not regret giving him that award, I look forward to the day he is released, so we can do more good work, and maybe give him another one."

Collins also noted Payne has given back to the community of Baton Rouge, including helping young people get into trade schools and advocating against violence in Zion City.

"Marvin Payne, in recent years, has been a positive influence in Baton Rouge, in specifically Zion City," Collins said.

Collins is asking that people reserve judgment until Payne has his day in court. 

"The same thing that happens when a police officer shoots an unarmed Black man. We say 'Wait for everything to come out.' I ask you do the same on this," Collins said.

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