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Press Release

Local Doctor Faces Additional Charges for Illegally Dispensing Controlled Substances by Prescriptions, Money Laundering, Structuring, and Obstruction of Justice

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

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced Friday, September 21, 2018 the unsealing of a second superseding indictment against WAYNE JEROME CELESTINE, age 57, a physician who practiced in Gretna, Louisiana and resided in the New Orleans area.  The second superseding indictment contains charges of distribution of controlled substances, structuring bank funds, obstruction of justice, and offenses of money laundering involving a substantial sum of cash.

According to court records, DR. CELESTINE illegally dispensed and conspired with others to illegally dispense controlled substances, including oxycodone, oxycodone/acetaminophen, oxycontin HCL, oxymorphone HCL, hydromorphone, opana, fentanyl, suboxone, and morphine sulfate, a Schedule II drug controlled substances; hydrocodone/acetaminophen, a Schedule III drug controlled substance until October 6, 2014, thereafter, a Schedule II drug controlled substance; and alprazolam, diazepam, and carisoprodol, Schedule IV drug controlled substances.  

CELESTINE is detained pending trial.

If convicted of the original charge (Count 1), CELESTINE will face a maximum of not more than 20 years in prison on the drug dispensing conspiracy charge, pursuant to Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1) and 846.  CELESTINE will also be subject to a fine of not more than one million dollars and a minimum term of supervised release of three years, following any term of imprisonment.

If convicted on the dispensing charges in Counts 2-5, CELESTINE faces not more than 20 years in prison, a one million dollar fine, and three years of supervised release.  On the money laundering conspiracy charge, (Count 6), he faces not more than 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  On the structuring charge (Count 7), he faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  On the two obstruction charges (Counts 8 and 9), he faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine per count.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work of the Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Harahan Police Department, Westwego Police Department, Louisiana State Police, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office, New Orleans Police Department, and New Orleans District Attorney’s Office in investigating this matter.  Assistant United States Attorney John F. Murphy is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated September 24, 2018

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