The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that Aaron Michael Shamo, 29 has been found guilty by a jury of organizing and directing a drug trafficking organization that ordered imported fentanyl and alprazolam online from China and used the drugs to press fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl and counterfeit Xanax tablets.
According to the DOJ, Shamo was found guilty of 12 of the 13 counts he faced. The jury opted to make no decision on the charge that his fake pills killed someone.
According to Shamo’s superseding indictment, Shamo was producing “round blue tablets debossed with ‘A 215’ on the bisected side-and offered those tablets for sale on the internet as Oxycodone 30 mg.’ Despite these representations, the defendant did not use Oxycodone at all in the manufacturing process, but instead, substituted Fentanyl, a much more potent synthetic opioid. These acts caused the drug to be adulterated as defined at 21 U.S.C. §§ 35l(b) and 3 51 ( d), and the adulteration had a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans.”
The DOJ reports that Shamo used his customers as guinea pigs in testing the strength of the pills he was producing, and would respond by shipping more pills to any of his customers that complained of illness. Additionally it was common practice for Shamo and his co-conspirators to simply vacuum up any fake pills that fell to the floor during production and throw them away, since they were producing so many fake pills they felt it was not worth their time to worry about them.
Sentencing for Shamo’s co-conspirators, all of whom made plea agreements with federal prosecutors, are currently pending. Shamo’s sentencing is scheduled for December 3rd. He faces a mandatory minimum life sentence in the case.
Our coverage of the Aaron Shamo case: