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Press Release

Local Medical Doctor Sentenced For Illegally Dispensing and Distributing Controlled Substances by Prescriptions and Money Laundering

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

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Peter G. Strasser announced that WAYNE JEROME CELESTINE, M.D., age 58, a physician who practiced in Gretna and resided in New Orleans, was sentenced today after previously pleading guilty to two counts in the Second Superseding Indictment, which charged him with illegally dispensing controlled substances and money laundering. 

U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo sentenced DR. CELESTINE to (7) seven years (84 months) imprisonment.  On Monday, April 30, 2018, DR. CELESTINE was arrested on charges of distribution of controlled substances.  According to court records, DR. CELESTINE illegally dispensed and conspired with others to illegally dispense controlled substances, including oxycodone, a Schedule II drug controlled substance.  On November 29, 2018, DR. CELESTINE plead guilty to two counts of the Second Superseding Indictment.        

In addition to the (7) seven year term of incarceration, DR. CELESTINE was fined $20,000 and will face a term of supervised release of (3) three years, following the term of imprisonment.  Pursuant to the terms of the plea agreement, DR. CELESTINE has been ordered to forfeit to the United States: over $1 million in seized currency, investment accounts, and negotiable instruments; and over $1 million in seized vehicles, residences, and commercial properties.  By virtue of the plea agreement, DR. CELESTINE acknowledged that these assets represent proceeds and/or facilitating property of the crimes for which he has pled guilty. 

This prosecution is part of an extensive investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). OCDETF is a joint federal, state and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking and is the nation’s primary tool for disrupting and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations, targeting national and regional level drug trafficking organizations and coordinating the necessary law enforcement entities and resources to disrupt or dismantle the targeted criminal organization and seize their assets.

U.S. Attorney Strasser praised the work 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 Attorneys John F. Murphy and Andre J. Lagarde are in charge of the prosecution.


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Updated May 1, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs