September 14, 2016
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1100
Baton Rouge Man Convicted Of Conspiracy To Distribute Heroin Disguised As Prescription Pills
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Drug Enforcement (DEA) announced yesterday that Aaron Lambert, 33, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and money laundering.
During a September 13, 2016, hearing, Lambert entered his plea before a Chief U.S. District Judge. According to the information that was presented to the Court in connection with Lambert’s guilty plea, between December 1, 2013, and April 16, 2015, Lambert conspired with nine individuals in California and Louisiana to distribute thousands of pills pressed to resemble oxycodone that, in fact, contained heroin. Upon delivery of the pills in Baton Rouge from California, they were then distributed to mid-level drug dealers and ultimately sold to drug abusers in East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parishes. Lambert admitted that, throughout the period of the conspiracy, he knew that the pills contained heroin, and his intent was to sell and profit from the sale of significant amounts of heroin. In addition, in March 2015, Lambert also engaged in money laundering from the proceeds of the drug-trafficking conspiracy.
“On an average day, 78 people in the United States die from an opioid-related overdose,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley. “The DEA and our law enforcement partners are committed to targeting those individuals and criminal organizations that are smuggling and distributing this poison and thus fueling this national epidemic.”
U.S. Attorney Walt Green stated: “The guilty plea in this case continues to highlight the benefit of working together with our federal, state, and local partners. It also exemplifies our commitment to eliminate drug trafficking and the significant harmful effects on our community resulting from heroin distribution and use, along with our efforts to ensure that ill-gotten financial gains are exposed. This defendant’s conduct is consistent with that of others in not only exposing the community to the horrific effects of heroin, but also the significant risk associated with disguising heroin as a prescription medication - that has been confirmed as a highly dangerous activity resulting in greatly increased overdose deaths throughout the nation. I appreciate the hardworking team of federal, state, parish, and city law enforcement agencies that allowed for the successful identification, arrest, and conviction of this heroin trafficker.”
Jerome R. McDuffie, Special Agent in Charge, IRS - Criminal Investigation, stated: “Drug trafficking organizations engage in increasingly sophisticated financial and operational networks to disguise the proceeds of narcotics sales. IRS - Criminal Investigation is very proud of the work we do to support federal drug investigations, and we will continue to assist the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other federal agencies in this important mission. Tracing the monetary transactions provides prosecutors with key evidence to support and enhance this vital work.”
At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court accepted Lambert’s guilty pleas, scheduled his sentencing hearing for January 5, 2017, and remanded him to the custody of the United States Marshals.
This investigation was conducted by the DEA, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Louisiana State Police, East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Police Department, and Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office.