Utah man convicted of leading nationwide drug trafficking network
SALT LAKE CITY — A jury has found a Cottonwood Heights man guilty of organizing and directing a drug trafficking operation that distributed more than 500,000 fake Xanax tablets and fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills.
Aaron Shamo was convicted of 12 of 13 charges and faces a prison sentence of dozens of years to life. He also faces potential fines totalling several million dollars.
The charges Shamo was convicted of include: Continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to commit money laundering, engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity, money laundering concealment, aiding and abetting the importation of a controlled substance (Fentanyl and Alprazolam), using the U.S. Mail in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, manufacture of alprazolam, and knowing and intentional adulteration of drugs while held for sale.
Prosecutors say Shamo and his co-conspirators — who have made plea deals — imported Fentanyl from China, purchased pill presses to manufacture counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs and distributed them to other drug dealers for distribution in all 50 states. They used “PHARMA-MASTER,” a Dark Net store, to sell their product and the U.S. Mail to ship it.
Prosecutors say an undercover purchase of 100 oxycodone was a substantial step in the federal investigation.
The only charge the jury did not decide on was the aiding and abetting of Fentanyl distribution resulting in a death.