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Press Release

New York Resident Pleads Guilty to Violating the Federal Controlled Substances Act

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – PEDRO SARANTE, age 42, a resident of Bronx, New York, pled guilty on June 8, 2023, before United States District Judge Carl J. Barbier to a one-count superseding bill of information charging him with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine hydrochloride, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(C), and 846, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.

According to court documents, on May 2, 2022, a Louisiana State Trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2005 Peterbilt tractor bearing a New Jersey license plate to perform a motor carrier inspection on Interstate 12 East near milepost 57.  The trooper identified the driver of the tractor (Co-conspirator 1) and the passenger in the sleeper area of tractor (SARANTE) and confirmed that SARANTE owned the tractor.

The trooper interviewed both vehicle occupants regarding their itinerary and cargo.  Neither of them were able to identify the cargo or detail their itinerary.  Troopers conducted a consensual search of the vehicle and seized three (3) rolling duffel bags containing a total of approximately seventy-four (74) kilograms of suspected cocaine from the sleeper area of the tractor.  The troopers arrested both Co-conspirator 1 and SARANTE.

In a post-arrest interview, SARANTE admitted that he was hired to travel from the Bronx, New York, NY to Baytown, TX to pick up a load of narcotics and transport them to Newark, NJ.  SARANTE advised the interviewing agents that he was going to be paid $1,000.00 per kilogram, once he delivered the drugs to Newark, NJ.

For the conspiracy count, SARANTE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years, a fine of up to $1,000,000.00, a term of supervised release of at least three (3) years, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.00.  SARANTE is scheduled to be sentenced on September 28, 2023.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Louisiana State Police.  The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney André Jones.


Shane M.Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice


Updated June 12, 2023

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