Fort Lauderdale resident Lenden Pendergrass’ form of a “garage sale” involved drugs and drug-addicted sex slaves who lived in his garage, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in federal court.
The only offenses in the complaint against Pendergrass, a 54-year-old, five-time prison resident, are possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance (fentanyl) with intent to distribute. Facing the same charges is 29-year-old Heather Loiola, cast in the complaint as both a Pendergrass prostitute and his business partner in moving drugs.
Pendergrass was convicted of cocaine possession for manufacture, sale or delivery in 1997 and 2006. His other Florida prison stays came from manslaughter via culpable negligence (showing a disregard for human life via reckless actions), burglary and cocaine possession.
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“Confidential Source No. 1” told Fort Lauderdale cops she lived in Pendergrass’ home in the 1300 block of Northwest 16th Street for a year. Pendergrass not only used the women to deliver fentanyl and crack cocaine, but to provide sexual services. The proceeds, of course, came back to Pendergrass, the informant said.
“CS No. 1 stated that if the females did not provide the money to “Len’’ once they returned to the residence, that female would be physically beaten by “Len’’ in front of the other females living in the residence,” the complaint reads. “CS No. 1 also told FLPD that all the females living in the residence were required to have sex with “Len’’ and that he gave the females both crack cocaine and fentanyl as payment for conducting sex acts or selling drugs for him.
CS No. 1 also impugned Pendergrass’ character as a businessman: “CS No. 1 advised that “Len’’ told customers that the fentanyl was heroin, however, he knew and told CS No.1 and the other females in the residence it was actually fentanyl.”
The complaint says CS No. 1 died in October of fentanyl toxicity.
Before she died, the complaint says, she participated in several controlled buys of heroin from Pendergrass. CS No. 2 did the same for investigators, but with crack cocaine buys. And CS No. 3, a paid informant, bought heroin from Loiola, the complaint said. They would meet at the Kwik Stop Food Store, near Northwest 15th Avenue and 19th Street.
After his arrest, the complaint says Pendergrass waived his Miranda rights and started telling on himself.
“Pendergrass admitted that he sells controlled substances including crack and heroin but denied that he sells fentanyl,” the complaint reads. “Pendergrass stated that he purchased four ounces of heroin from his supplier last night and that his sister, Lisa Jones, had sold three grams of it to a regular customer this morning. Pendergrass explained that the “heroin’’ he purchased last night was going to be sold by him and his associates within the next week.
“Pendergrass explained that he sells heroin to the women that reside in the garage.”