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Leader of Drug Trafficking Organization in Utah Sentenced to Life in Prison

October 15, 2020

This morning, the leader of a multi-million dollar drug trafficking organization in Utah was sentenced to life in prison.

Aaron Shamo was previously convicted in 2019 for organizing and directing a drug trafficking organization that imported fentanyl from China to manufacture fake oxycodone pills and counterfeit Xanax tablets out of his home in Utah. Shamo and his co-conspirators shipped hundreds of thousands of these counterfeit drugs across the nation under the name Pharma-Master on the dark web until his arrest in 2016.

“In 2016, Shamo sold one million Fentanyl-laced fake oxycodone pills to unsuspecting buyers in every state in the union,” Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said. “While the total harm he caused can never be measured, at least ninety of his known customers have died from overdoses. The Court’s sentence today—life imprisonment—brings justice to the families of his deceased customers and everyone else affected by his crimes. The Attorney General’s Office extends its deepest sympathies to the families of the deceased, recognizing that not even a just sentence can restore what was lost. We remain fully engaged in our effort to combat the opioid epidemic by aggressively investigating and prosecuting drug dealers who prey on the addicted.”

Read the press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office – District of Utah here.

AG Reyes Statement on Aaron Shamo Conviction

August 29, 2019

Following the announcement of the conviction of Aaron Shamo, Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes released the following statement:

“We may never know the full extent of the lives lost or the families harmed by Aaron Shamo’s deadly enterprise as a global drug dealer.

“Shamo callously profited from trafficking dangerous doses of Fentanyl to vulnerable people caught in the clutches of addiction.

“This case highlights the devastating effects of trafficking illicit Fentanyl, an often overlooked but deadly aspect of the opioid crisis. 

“Shamo’s conviction today is a significant victory in the ongoing war on illegal opioids in our state and nation. Utahans owe a debt of gratitude to all involved in taking down this predator.

“We thank DEA Supervisory Agent Brian Besser and his fellow agents who put their lives in danger to investigate this case and eliminate a clear and present danger.

“We also commend US Attorney John Huber, Special AUSA Michael Gadd and the joint prosecution team of the US Attorney, Kent Burggraaf from the Utah Attorney General’s Office, the FDA, Homeland Security, IRS-Criminal Investigation and Postal Inspectors.

“To further protect our families from the Aaron Shamos of the world, we need to have real and honest dialogues about addiction as a public health crisis.

“In those discussions, we must eliminate shame and judgment. This will allow more prevention in some cases and in others, more treatment and recovery resources to those trapped in the deadly cycle of addiction.”

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