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Criminal Law

Trial Starts in Eagle Scout’s Million-Dollar Utah Drug Ring

As America’s opioid crisis spiraled into a fentanyl epidemic, prosecutors say one young Utah man made himself a drug kingpin by creating counterfeit prescription painkillers laced with the deadly drug and mailing them to homes across the United States. 

Former Eagle Scout Aaron Shamo, 29, will stand trial beginning Monday on allegations that he and a small group of fellow millennials ran a multimillion-dollar empire from the basement of his suburban Salt Lake City home by trafficking hundreds of thousands of pills containing fentanyl, the potent synthetic opioid that has exacerbated the country’s overdose epidemic in recent years. 

The federal government’s case is expected to offer a glimpse at how the drug, which has killed tens of thousands of Americans, can be imported from China, pressed into fake pills and sold through online black markets to people in every state.

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