Utah Darknet Drug Lord, Sentenced to Prison for Life


Dark Web Opioid Ring: A dark web drug lord who ran his multimillion opioid ring in his basement would not have that luxury again as he is head to prison for life. Aaron Shamo, the mastermind behind a large dark web drug enterprise was convicted of 12 charges by a federal jury on Friday, which included the running of a continuing criminal enterprise of which the penalty for that alone is a mandatory life sentence. Shamo was also found guilty of intentional adulteration of drugs for sale, manufacturing of a controlled substance, aiding and abetting the importation of controlled substances and others, totaling 12 out of the 13 charges that were labeled against him.

The 29-year-old and other assailants were suspects of a dark web drug organization which focused on importing synthetic opioids and fentanyl from China and then pressing them into pills for distribution across the globe. Shamo did the majority of the running of the drug enterprise from a basement in his home, sending out over 500,000 fentanyl-laced pills across the U.S alone.

Image source: Fox News

During the court hearing, the jury was hung on one charge for over two days before passing out the verdict, and that was Shamo’s involvement if the overdose death of Ruslan Klyuev, a 21-year-old California man. According to prosecutors, the culprit was a vicious drug lord who didn’t care whether his clients would die or fall sick from the synthetic opioids he was selling them. Instead, he would often gamble heavily with the drug proceeds and organize fancy parties on boats.

Assistant U.S Attorney Vernon Stejska, speaking to the jury, stated that, Shamo didn’t have any feeling for his country and some of the people living in it. He knew the country was suffering from a severe drug crisis. Drugs such as the ones he was selling were causing havoc, and he still wasn’t unmoved about the vast consequences that could bring. Stejska also added that the culprit was partly responsible for the opioid crisis in the country and the needless pain people are going through.

“Aaron Shamo knew the nation was on fire with opioids and he poured fuel on the flames, over and over and over, never getting burned himself, but causing pain and misery wherever his fire spread,” he stated, adding that, “He could be considered the face of the opioid epidemic. He was a profiteer, callously making millions of dollars and living a life of leisure while exploiting those suffering through opioid addiction.”

Most of his accomplices accepted plea deals which won’t put them in prison, unlike their superior in the dark web drug enterprise. Greg Skordas, Shamo’s attorney, argued during the trial that, his client wasn’t the brilliant, sophisticated mastermind behind the multimillion drug ring because he wasn’t smart enough. He added that the Cotton heights native just wanted to make friends and the pressure of that, made him do things he wasn’t supposed to do. According to him, Shamo just bought a pill press machine, packaging items, and other drug analogs in his name only to cover up for the others.

Image source: Kutv

Prosecutors however argued otherwise, stating that, evidence from their investigation revealed that, Shamo and one of his friends named Drew Crandall, actually started the drug enterprise. What began as a small business venture later evolved to a big dark web drug enterprise in no time, and Shamo started to pay for drugs to be imported from China.

Skordas, again shot back accusing the government of wanting to sentence his client from the very beginning. He stated that it was the government’s goal, and they achieved it. He told the jury that his client was just a kid, but his life was as good as over because he was going to die in prison.

Mike Shamo, the father of the culprit, speaking to reporters, stated that, his son was ultimately in the dark about the dangers of what he was doing. According to him, he instead thought he found an easy way to make money to support his tech dreams.

Shamo’s dirty deals came to light back in 2016, when a package en-route to one of his customers was intercepted by law enforcement. Subsequent investigations revealed that the package was from China. In November that year, a search warrant on his residence uncovered almost 70,000 pills of oxycodone in his apartment. In addition to that, 25,000 pills of alprazolam were also found.

Utah Attorney Sean Reyes, expressed his joy over this case, stating that, Shamo’s conviction is a significant victory amidst the ongoing war on synthetic opioids in the States.

Source: Sltrib

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