Utah has been hit by drug overdoses in recent years, and the number of overdose cases recorded increases year after year. Statistically, at least one person dies of a drug overdose every day. Opioid overdoses have been reported to kill more people than gun violence and accident fatalities.
Authorities in Utah have launched an investigation into a recent drug overdose that led to the death of 28 people. The drug is suspected to be opioid ordered from the Darknet marketplace and sold on the street as revealed by the prosecutor on Monday. The 28 overdose death has been linked to a Darknet drug ring in Utah.
Two suspects in charge of a drug distribution in Utah were arrested. Aaron Shamo was the ringleader and Wilson Crandall was an accomplice. Michael Gadd, the prosecutor has instructed that the suspects be put in jail throughout the investigation process.
Drew Wilson Crandall, a suspect, was accused of helping Aaron Shamo run his Darknet drug trade, however, his lawyer said that the court has no evidence against him being responsible for the overdose. According to reports, his parents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint. Crandall cried throughout the trial, but the court was not moved by his emotions.
His father is very positive about how clear his son is. He believes that Wilson has no criminal history, and he can afford to put his dream house as a collateral after his son is released. “To me, that’s how you solve these problems, is you deal with them and you deal with them uprightly and with integrity,” said Greg Crandall, the father of the suspect.
The defense attorney, Jim Bradshaw claimed that his client has been falsely accused of masterminding criminal activity. He explained that his client worked for two years helping a friend, from which he earned $65,000. The prosecutor said that the suspect earned around $2.8 million in less than a year, contradicting the amount quoted by the defense attorney.
According to his family, Crandall has been a victim of depression and anxiety from his childhood and this affected him so much. His loved ones believe that the urgent call to totally eliminate drug trafficking in Utah has made the authorities see Crandall case in a different light. Fentanyl abuse is very high in the USA, and this has made the authorities become lenient on fentanyl distribution cases.
Crandall managed to get engaged, beating his depression and anxiety, and in a way to distance himself from the ringleader, so he traveled to a faraway place. However, the court suspected him to have traveled as an escape plan for his wrongdoing.
His travel was seen as a plan of avoiding an investigation into the huge sum of money he earned from his alleged Darknet drug ring. He was arrested in Hawaii when he touched down for his wedding.
The prosecutor said that Aaron Shamo, the ringleader set up a platform on the Darknet marketplace where he sold dangerous fentanyl opioid. Wilson Crandall acted as his customer support service and ensured a successful transaction between the ringleader and the buyers. The dangerous fentanyl opioid was disguised as a prescription pill delivered to buyers by mail. No evidence has been provided so far linking the 28 overdose death to the case of Aaron Shamo and Wilson Crandall.
If found guilty, Crandall will face up to 10 years imprisonment for conspiring to distribute drugs. He has been found guilty of three counts. Shamo’s lawyer believes that it is wrong to link the death of the 28 people to the case of his client, since that death may be have been a result of other health conditions. Aaron Shamo faces a life sentence if found guilty.
The rise of drug overdose death in Utah is largely due to the trafficking of these drugs from the Darknet. The recent death has made authorities introduce naloxone, a drug that prevents the overdose opioid from getting to the receptor. Drugs consumed affects the receptor of the brain, and authorities have advised people to apply it when there is an incident of a drug overdose.
Utah is ranked the 4th highest drug overdose state, and according to Rep. Carol Spackman Moss of District 37, states that have greater access to the Naloxone has a decrease drug use. “The states that have expanded accessibility have not seen an increase but in fact have seen a decrease in drug use. We are the fourth highest in the country for overdose deaths. That’s very high,” said Moss. With respect to this matter, Utah has less access to the Naloxone.