Grand jury indicts Ladson man charged in fentanyl bust

Robert Mansfield (CCSO)

A Ladson man charged with illegally importing and distributing a powerful prescription pain killer has been indicted in federal court.

A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment Thursday against Robert Mansfield, 60. He's charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid, 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Federal prosecutors accuse Mansfield of bringing large shipments of the drug into the U.S. from China and Europe.

Federal agents with the DEA and Homeland Security arrested Mansfield Feb. 24 after raiding his home on Pinewood Street. Agents reportedly found large quantities of fentanyl inside his home, along with shipping materials.

Mansfield appeared in court for the first time March 1, when federal agents presented their findings from the raid on his home and a prior investigation.

Federal officials revealed they began investigating Mansfield after seizing a package in New York addressed to his home. The package was shipped from Hong Kong, and contained 1,010 grams of fentanyl, the affidavit said.

Agents said they believe Mansfield sent numerous shipments of fentanyl throughout the United States, including one linked to a person's death in York County.

Federal agents later confirmed a search at a storage unit on Ladson Road the same day as Mansfield's court appearance was related to their investigation.

Mansfield was given a $100,000 secured bond March 3.

If convicted, Mansfield faces a fine of as much as $10 million, and up to life in prison, according to Beth Drake, U.S. District Attorney for South Carolina.

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