Tuesday, September 17, 2019

"Any moron can become a drug kingpin by dealing in fentanyl" - Aaron Shamo

Shamo flooded the US with at least a half-million fake oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl.29-year-old Mormon college dropout Aaron Shamo made himself a millionaire by building a fentanyl trafficking empire in his spare time with not much more than his computer. Shamo called himself a “white-collar drug dealer” who was helping people get the drugs they needed.

His attorney called him a fool and his primary defence was that he isn’t smart enough to be a drug kingpin.
On the stand at trial Shamo rambled extensively about how customers wrote thank you notes because their doctors refused to prescribe more painkillers. He said it was “a win-win situation” — he got rich and his customers got drugs.

Ruslan Klyuev died in his bedroom with an envelope from Shamo at his feet. Shamo was charged in connection to that overdose death, but when investigators scoured his list of customers they said dozens more were also dead. His was the only death with which Shamo would be charged.
The DEA estimates a kilogram of fentanyl purchased for a few thousand dollars from China could make a dealer more than $1 million. “Any moron can basically become a major drug kingpin by dealing in fentanyl.”

Shamo's business boomed. Shamo hired a personal assistant. He stuffed a duffel bag with $429,000 cash and asked his parents to hold it. He bragged to friends about gambling in Las Vegas. He shopped for real estate in Puerto Rico; took photos sipping champagne on a cruise ship; bought designer clothes, a boat and expensive cars.
Shamo penned a note: “I am Shamo. I am awesome. My friends love me. I created an empire.”
On Nov. 22, 2016 Federal agents raided Shamo’s home. Agents found more than $1.2m in cash. They seized another $800k from one of his associates. Shamo’s other ex-partners and packagers pleaded guilty and agreed to testify.

Aaron Shamo was convicted of 12 counts on September 12, including the so-called “kingpin charge” that is usually reserved for drug lords like El Chapo and carries a mandatory life sentence. The jury deadlocked on the death of Ruslan Klyuev.