A Utah federal jury found Aaron Shamo, guilty of running a criminal enterprise which will put the 29-year-old behind bars for the rest of his life.

Shamo was also convicted of aiding and abetting a controlled substance (Fentanyl) along with running a pill-pressing operation that distributed the opioid drug across the country. All in all, he was found guilty on 12 of 13 charges.

Shamo and others were implicated in the drug crimes that consisted of importing fentanyl and opioids from China, then pressing them into pills and distributing them over the “dark web.” The defense attorney for Shamo, Greg Skordas said he had tried to avoid the life sentence by proving to the jury that his client was not the ringleader of the group of friends who manufactured and sold the drugs.

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“He’s just a kid,” Skordas said, “and to think that he will never have another meal with his family, never go on a date, never watch his child be born. Ever. He’s 29 years old. And his life is over.”

The jury was hung on only one conviction involving Shamo’s responsibility in the overdose death of a 21-year-old man in California. [Washington Examiner]

Fox13Now reports; “While Shamo was the ringleader, authorities don’t think he acted alone. Investigators now believe the drug operation involved five others: two women from South Jordan, Alexandrya Tonge, and Katherine Bustin, along with two men from Midvale: Mario Noble and Michael Gygi–as well as with Drew Crandall from Australia. Taking out operations like this makes progress and saves lives, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said John Huber, US Attorney for the District of Utah.

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In his closing remarks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Vernon Stejska said: “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. Aaron Shamo 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.”

Watch video above, via Fox13Now

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