Newport Beach man pleads guilty in Louisiana to distributing heroin disguised as pain medication

A Newport Beach man pleaded guilty in federal court to distributing heroin from California to Louisiana that had been disguised as the pain medication oxycodone.

Logan Brannon, 37, was three days into his jury trial in Louisiana when he pleaded guilty March 9 to conspiracy to distribute and process with intent to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, distribution of heroin, conspiracy to launder drug proceeds and forfeiture, according to a U.S. attorney's office news release.

Brannon is expected to be sentenced June 29.

He was one of 10 people indicted by a federal grand jury in 2015 following a years-long investigation into a drug-trafficking conspiracy involving the shipment of heroin from California to Baton Rouge, La.

The indictment alleged the group participated in a conspiracy to distribute significant amounts of heroin that had been pressed to resemble oxycodone pills in California before they were shipped to Baton Rouge. When the drugs arrived in Baton Rouge, the pills were distributed to midlevel drug dealers and ultimately sold to drug users in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes, according to federal prosecutors.

According to the news release, Brannon admitted that between December 2013 and October 2015 he conspired with others in California and Louisiana to distribute thousands of pills that contained more than a kilogram of heroin.

Over a three-month period in 2015, Brannon supplied more than 30,000 heroin pills for distribution in Baton Rouge. Between July 2014 and April 2015, Brannon and others involved in the scheme also tried to conceal and disguise the source of the money they received from distributing the heroin, prosecutors alleged.

"This conviction is another example of our continuing efforts to join with federal, state and local law enforcement to neutralize the heroin epidemic sweeping our country and make our community safer," U.S. Attorney Walt Green said in a statement.

hannah.fry@latimes.com

Twitter: @HannahFryTCN

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