A Florida man who allegedly kept sex slaves in his garage is currently not being charged with anything connected to the women, but instead is facing drug trafficking charges.
Florida resident Lenden Pendergrass is looking at some serious jail time. But the biggest surprise might be that none of it may end up being due to the supposed sex slaves in his garage. Instead, it might have everything to do with the drugs authorities found in his home. Here is how the bust went down.
Confidential Informants Point to Drugs
A confidential informant known in legal documents as “Confidential Source No. 1” came to Fort Lauderdale police with an interesting story.
According to No. 1, Lenden Pendergrass was using women living in his home to move drugs, specifically crack and fentanyl. In addition to the drug running, No. 1, who lived at Pendergrass’ home for a year, also alleged that the women who lived in Pendergrass’ garage were used as sex slaves.
If the women performed sex acts on Pendergrass or his customers, they were rewarded with drugs. If they did not, they were beaten. If he did not receive the correct amount of money from the women who ran his drugs to customers, he would beat them. The beatings would often take place in front of the other women. All of this is part of the allegations made by the informant.
Unfortunately, No. 1 passed away due to fentanyl toxicity in October 2017.
However, her claims of drug dealing were further backed by two other sources, referred to in court documents as “Confidential Source No. 2” and “Confidential Source No. 3.” All three made controlled drug buys off Pendergrass and his alleged drug-dealing associate, Heather Loiola.
Drug But Not Sex Trafficking Charges?
The complaint currently filed against Pendergrass and Loiola does not include any charges related to sex trafficking. Currently, the complaint only charges the duo with two offenses: possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance (fentanyl) with intent to distribute.
The investigation is still on-going, so sex trafficking charges may be added to the complaint at a later date. In the meantime, Pendergrass may have made prosecutors’ jobs a little bit easier.
Upon his arrest, Pendergrass waived his Miranda rights and proceeded to confess to his drug-dealing ways, including dealing heroin and crack. He denied dealing fentanyl. Pendergrass also allegedly admitted to dealing heroin to the women who lived in his garage.
This isn’t the first time Pendergrass has looked at prison time. In 1997, and again in 2006, he served time for possessing cocaine to manufacture, sell, or deliver, as well as three other stints due to manslaughter via culpable negligence, burglary, and cocaine possession.