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Press Release

Indictment Unsealed Charging New Orleans Resident with Heroin and Money Laundering Conspiracies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced a two-count Indictment was unsealed yesterday that charges CORNELL PENDLETON, age 52, of New Orleans, with violations of federal drug and money laundering statutes, announced U. S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.  According to Count One in the Indictment, PENDLETON conspired with others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.  According to Count Two, PENDLETON conspired with others to conduct financial transactions knowing that the transactions were designed to conceal the proceeds of an unlawful drug business. 

PENDLETON was arrested on March 22, 2016.  At the time of his arrest, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration executed seizure warrants on assets tied to PENDLETON’s illegal drug and money laundering conspiracies.  To date, law enforcement has seized from PENDLETON approximately $1 million in bank accounts and cashier’s checks. 

If convicted of the heroin conspiracy, PENDLETON faces a minimum sentence of ten years in prison, a maximum life sentence, a fine of not more than $10,000,000, and a minimum of five years of supervised release.  If convicted of the money laundering conspiracy, PENDLETON faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, a fine of not more than $500,000, and not more than three years of supervised release. 

U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorneys Brandon S. Long and Michael B. Redmann are in charge of the prosecution.


Updated April 1, 2016

Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud