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National Forensic Science Week

September 19 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm MDT

Decorative ImageSeptember 19 | 4:00 – 6:00 pm

Farnsworth Room, SUB

Kent BurggraafKent A. Burggraaf was born and raised in the Salt Lake Valley of Utah. Currently, he is an Assistant Attorney General at the Utah Attorney General’s Office. Burggraaf was instrumental in the prosecution and conviction of Aaron Michael Shamo, who was found guilty of organizing and directing a drug trafficking organization that imported fentanyl and alprazolam from China and used the drugs to manufacture fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl and counterfeit Xanax tablets.

Shamo purchased pill presses to manufacture pills so they would appear to be legitimate pharmaceutical drugs. Shamo then distributed the controlled substances to other individuals for distribution in all 50 states using their storefront, PHARMA-MASTER, on the Dark Net marketplace AlphaBay and the U.S. mail.

“A major narcotics and money laundering operation was dismantled due to the technological expertise of our agents and law enforcement partners,” said Steven Cagen, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations in Denver.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Shamo established himself as the CEO of a nationwide drug distribution network. He was in control of the majority of the functions of the enterprise.  Shamo established the dark web storefront, hired employees, took charge of marketing and product placement. He was a drug dealer to other drug dealers. Evidence showed Shamo received messages from customers that they were getting sick.  His response, prosecutors said, was to send more pills to the complaining customers.

The jury convicted Shamo of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, three counts of aiding and abetting the importation of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, manufacture of a controlled substance, and two counts of knowing and intentional adulteration of drugs while held for sale. The jury also found Shamo guilty of aiding and abetting the use of the U.S. Mail in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering promotion and concealment, and engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity.