8 face federal indictment for oxycodone distribution operation

Published: Tuesday, May 20 2014 8:29 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Six Utahns are among eight people facing federal charges for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and money laundering.

Aaron Peila, 31, acted as the organizer, supervisor and manager of an oxycodone distribution operation in Utah, which involved 23 other people who were previously indicted in U.S. District Court, according to an indictment filed Tuesday.

The eight individuals were included in the last of five indictments from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The majority of the counts listed in the indictment are based upon a more than six-year criminal history for Peila and others from May 2007 through June 2012.

Peila, who has lived in Utah and Nevada, was charged for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise. He obtained substantial income and resources through his operation while violating federal drug and money laundering laws, according to the indictment.

The continuing criminal enterprise charge could mean a minimum of 20 years to life behind bars for Peila and a $2 million maximum fine. The drug trafficking and money laundering counts also carry a potential 20-year prison sentence. A $2 million fine is tacked on to the drug trafficking count, as well as a fine up to $500,000 for money laundering.

Also charged in the indictment unsealed Monday were Jonas Newell, 29, of Provo; Candace Newman, 27, of Las Vegas; Mark Jaffe, 33, of Salt Lake City; Carolyn Barrera, 30, of Salt Lake City; Kevin Lynch, 53, of Las Vegas; and Jason Junior, 45, and Syndi Junior, 33, both from Pleasant Grove.

Email: mcollette@deseretnews.com, Twitter: mirandacollette

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