According to a release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Rex Pelote Sr., a leader of a local narcotics ring, pleaded guilty to a federal drug-trafficking charge. Pelote Sr., 44, lived on the 800 block of 21 Street NE, pled guilty to “conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.” His guilty plea was entered in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.

Pelote, according to the release, “led a heroin distribution ring that operated in the Langston Terrace” housing project. Pelote’s “lieutenant,” Edward T. “Bootsy” Farley, 47, also entered a guilty plea on the conspiracy charge.

The release goes on to state that four of Pelote’s street-level dealers also pled guilty to a conspiracy charge: Charles “Black” McRae, 57, Gerald “Orleans” Anderson, 40, Dannie “Smiley” Jones, 54, and Cornelius “Chuck” Farley, 40.

The defendants will be sentenced on March 18, 2009. Pelote and Farley face sentences of 17 years and 15 years.

“According to the evidence the government would have presented at trial, between at least April 2007 and April 2008, Pelote controlled an organization that was responsible for smuggling heroin into the District of Columbia, processing and packaging that heroin, and selling it in Langston Terrace, NE,” the release states. “Edward Farley assisted Pelote in distributing the drugs to various runners for street-level distribution.”

Evidence recovered in various stash house included secret drug containers (“false-bottom cans”), hundreds of small, empty ziplock bags, thousands in cash, and “numerous bags of heroin.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office notes that law enforcement was prepared to present audio and video evidence of multiple drug buys from various members of the conspiracy. “A court-ordered wiretap revealed telephone conversations between Pelote and his co-conspirators in which they coordinated their extensive drug trafficking activities,” the release states.