@izzraul,"We know Israel & our government committed
9/11" Please share the proof you have for such a statement. @Aggielove,"Utah is not a popular place outside of Utah."
Not sure what this comment has to do with the article. Certainly, isn't
based on fact since Utah has millions and millions of visitors each year from
around the globe that visit the national parks, ski resorts, temple square,
I find it amusing that people ignore facts in favor of blaming this guy. We know
Israel & our government committed 9/11. 1 of the dancing Israeli admitted
their job was documenting it. We falsely blamed innocent Muslims in order
to invade, murder and steal . We claimed Saddam had WMD's, and we had to
protect the people. Then killed millions of them. We committed terrorism under
the guise of defending freedom to secure the poppy fields producing the Opiods.
It's not a coincidence. He didn't fly over seas & murder millions
of innocent people for the drugs. He didn't do 9/11 to steal the drugs.
He's not flying it into the US. But some one is. Calling him a drug dealer
say's something about this country. Big Pharma CEO's are making
$80,000 to $400,000 a day. A DAY! Do we think it's a
coincidence? Are we that dense and blind? Why isn't SWAT kicking in the
CEO's doors? Because somehow the exact same drugs are legal for them to
sell? LOL. This guy wasn't making $80,000 a day. What makes Big Pharma
CEO's any different? Besides the fact they make 5x the money and kill 3x
the number of people!?Put blame where it belongs.
What is sad is that these low life's have customers. without customers
there is no problem.
It’s pretty easy to see how this would happen in Utah. Money rules and so
do material items. But hey, isn’t that taught to be wrong at church? Utah
is not a popular place outside of Utah.
What is it about human nature that causes us to seek greed and money at any
cost? What is it about us that makes it that we shun hard work, personal
development and sacrifice for the "symbols" of success? As a parent, I
feel pain for the parents of this person. You love and want so much to help
your children to develop. Kids have it tough today. I can't believe how
alluring the world and societal norms makes the most bone headed choices. Kids
have never had: to work less, more options, more electronic distractions, more
mental illness, and less parental/societal guidance. Everything goes in todays
world until it gets to the point that people are in total ruin or causing total
ruin to someone else. Before that, "don't judge"! "quite
pushing your religion!", "you aren't open and caring!". Darned
if you do, darned if you don't...I put a lot of this on our new "open
minded" society full of "no consequence". Imagine what discipline
and self control could do for this society? You can't legislate it. It is
hard gained one person at a time.
As a former cop, I have seen the human debris field left behind from abuse of
all kinds of drugs from alcohol to black tar heroin. There is nothing good
about any of it, including Marijuana.As far as I'm concerned,
Shamo is not a "good kid". He made many, many bad decisions over time
that affected lots of lives and maybe even killed some of them.And
the sad thing is, just like much of corporate America, it is about the money.
Nothing else matters. Just the money.As far as I'm concerned,
they can't throw the book at him hard enough and they can't put him
away in a cell deep enough. Frankly, once convicted, he should spend the rest
of his life in the SuperMax prison in Florence, CO. Give him 23 hours a day in
a cell to think about what he has done.
UtahTroutStalker, I agree. Some of successful entrepreneurs are highly
intelligent but socially awkward (nerds, nonconformists, etc.) and/or have
learning disabilities. The subject of this article appears to have been one of
those kids. As loving as his family may be, and as competent as his educators
may have been, they didn't unlock his potential. It seems clear to me that
he was brilliant at the business of running a drug operation. Drug dealers
seldom personalize their customers. When he does, he will repent, but few
prisons rehabilitate. Our climate today is one of retribution, not
rehabilitation. In case you aren't familiar with it, "Breaking Bad"
doesn't glamorize drug dealing; it's a cautionary tale. There is
someone in our family with chronic, debilitating pain issues. After many years
of prescribed opiates, s/he is now having great difficulty getting doctors to
prescribe. Alternative medicines are either useless for many or illegal, with no
one accountable for purity. Hence, our "war on drugs" is as much a cause
for the deaths as the illegal drug trade.
This story made me sick. I feel bad for his family and the thousands of lives
that he's played a role in ruining. Sad to see where a few bad decisions
have led. He had multiple chances and he chose evil instead of good. Here's
a young man with tremendous promise who threw everything down the toilet.
I'm glad he's going to have a long time to think about the
consequences of his decisions. Really sad.
All drug dealers have the blood of murder on their hands and have destroyed many
lives, they need to be locked up forever, or better yet, executed.
Drug dealers and cartel kingpins love addicted customers. It is their version
of a highly profitable recurring revenue business model. Take my word for it,
law enforcement knows far more than you think they know if you choose to engage
in drug trafficing at any level...
That's one of the finest and most in-depth articles ever to appear in the
pages of the Deseret News. My congratulations to the newspaper and its reporter
on a very thorough job. That said, it's also one of the
saddest stories I've ever read. Two very creative and talented young men,
if found guilty, will have thrown their lives away for nothing. Both of them
seem intelligent enough to have found a highly remunerative line of work that is
also legal. I'm sorry for them both; but even more sorry for the many
people, in Utah and elsewhere, who've been hurt by purveyors of toxic drugs
“I’d want people to know I’m not like, a guy in a cartel, or
some Pablo Escobar,” Shamo said earlier this month from the Weber County
Jail in a series of interviews with the Deseret News. “My parents would
say I’m a good kid.”I'm “late to the
party,” as it were, and several commenters already have expressed similar
sentiments, but . . . So, Mr. Shamo wants us to believe that he's a
“good kid” because, unlike Pablo Escobar, Mr. Shamo has never
actually seen any of the people he has killed (i.e., the ones who have overdosed
on the drugs he distributed)? Hmm. Color me unconvinced. In a perverse way,
actually, I have more respect for Mr. Escobar, because at least Mr. Escobar
looked some of the people he killed in the eye before sending them to their
deaths. Not so Mr. Shamo.
It is sad to me that some people want this person to suffer. The suffering he
has caused others is wrong yet it is right to cause him to suffer as a result to
make it right!? I do not understand this logic. Prison is not a place to help
someone become rehabilitated it is a place where people are abused!The other piece that amazes me is that the biggest drug dealers in the world
pharmaceutical companies are able to make HUGE profits and sell drugs that
thousands of people overdose on every year. But those people who overdose it is
their fault not the pharmaceutical companies? I know one can say how they are
more careful about how they make the drugs they sell .... Okay so if Aaron used
more technical lab equipment it would be okay? Well pharmaceutical companies do
not use Fentanyl as widely (yet) so if Aaron did not use Fentanyl he would not
have been seen by some as a monster? Is the difference doctor prescriptions and
regulations? People are still overdosing and dying who are taking prescriptions.
The graphs and data they give on the article is not just for deaths attributed
to Fentanyl or non prescription drugs.
What a powerful article on our war on drugs!!
This article makes me thankful for what I do have. I may drive a 18 year old
truck, make a median income and own a old house. But I get to come home each day
and see my wife and daughter. I can guarantee you that Aaron Shamo would trade
all the money he ever had to be where I am at. My sincerest sympathies go out to
him and I hope that in the next life, or even after prison, that he will be able
to find peace, forgiveness and happiness.
@belfastgirlI agree with you. There are some who get a little too
concerned with how they are seen and have little concern for who they are. We
need to do a better job as parents and friends of teaching what is truly
important. Of teaching the things that bring true and lasting happiness.
It seems like the consensus here is to crucify Shamo. Put him away for life!
Make sure he never sees the light of day!If that happens, obviously
he'll deserve it. He ran a drug cartel and his drugs probably took lives on
a regular basis. But as the brother of a drug addict, I feel sympathy for Shamo,
not anger.It's very easy to get lost. A similar thing happened
to my brother, though he never sold drugs, he often used them to escape. We have
this perfectionist culture in Utah that some kids have a difficult time
measuring up to. Especially if they struggle with depression, anxiety, ect. I believe my brother would like us to forgive this guy. My brother when
he got clean never held a grudge against anyone like this. He held a couple of
grudges against his friends who used to pressure him to get high, but he forgave
them.That's what I think we should do. Let this guy suffer the
consequences for his actions and then forgive him. From the article, it seems
like he was considering changing. Maybe his arrest is the Lord's way of
humbling and reclaiming him.
I live in Southern Utah after having lived in Canada for over 6 years and have
really noticed the difference in the population. Its not a good difference as I
notice a lot more obvious druggy types hanging around the ball fields and other
places of recreation. Obviously they are there to score or sell drugs and how do
I know this? My husband has played with their fathers on softball teams and we
hear the stories and kids who are well into their 30s hanging around because
they are back living at home because they are just out of jail for drug or
violent offences. The parents are again paying for rehab and trying to keep them
in check. Easy quick money is the lure as actually working for a crust is
considered beneath them. The Utah population is very, very materialistic and I
have noticed with the older crowd that all they seem to care about is the car
you drive and the number of homes you own. We have backed away from friendships
because its tiresome to be around all the shallow. We do well in life but we
value people for who they are and not what they have. These values have been
taught to their children and they in turn are drawn to seemingly easy ways to
make money .
My niece, Mary Kate, was living in Cottonwood Heights at a Sober living
residence. She had been clean for 15 months. She relapsed and it took her life
on November 21, 2016. Her autopsy revealed her cause of death was from
Fentanyl! Pill were found next to her.Was this a coincidence....I
don't think so! Do I feel sorry for him. The answer is NO.
Probably the finest, fairest and most educational media article I've read
in 30 years.If only more of our media could do work like this.This is upper level reporting. The DNEWS is on a great trajectory.
What a sad story. They should offer him a deal and have him help bring
down the others selling this stuff.
He doesn't wish jail on anybody; that's sure thoughtful of him. Does
he wish addiction, despair, and death on people? He either must not care about
the well-being of others, or he is willfully ignorant of the consequences of
drug us to an almost impossible degree to believe.
Much of the focus of comments here is looking in the wrong direction. The
darknet angle isn't what's ripping through good middle class families
in Utah. It's a big story, a sad story, but it's legit prescription
use taken too far that's taking down people in all walks of life.
Especially in communities that like to think it doesn't exist
"here." The endless and escalating pursuit of material possessions
attained via debt is a soul sucking and hollow pursuit. Even with
"everything is awesome" current vibe following the 2008 crisis, stress,
pressure, and crushing debt is an unseen danger causing pharma drug use to
escalate. The answer isn't escalating a failed war on drugs
that's cost trillions and hasn't slowed down the flow one bit.
It's a demand problem. Though there is no easy answer, open and honest
communication within families is a start. On a recent visit it was downright
creepy, within families facing significant troubles, drugs being a component,
the more animated and vehement the "We're doing so AWESOME. Wow, just
couldn't be better." Things weren't awesome, and there was zero
REAL communication, many families can't even be open amongst themselves.
Solution is within.
Excellent reporting and writing. Thank you so much for this superb bit of
journalism!This highlights the fact that there will always be people
willing to supply illegal drugs, and they must be prosecuted to the full extent
of the law. That includes kingpins who make and distribute in quantity as Shamo
allegedly did. But also those smaller dealers who peddle a handful. And, we must never accept illegal drug use as being non-criminal activity.
While an addict may mess up their own life, the rest of society is victimized by
bearing the economic, medical and social costs of the addict's
dysfunctional life. One important bit of the story was the lady who
was able to quickly score drugs at Pioneer Park. We can start by a 100%
enforcement and "zero tolerance" policy for drug sales, possession or
use in any public park, or any taxpayer funded building (e.g.- homeless
shelters).There must be a war on illegal drugs at all levels, user,
dealer, distributor, and manufacturer.Shamo's parents obviously
tried hard to cure their son's problems, but were unsuccessful and are not
to blame for his actions. They are victims too.
This alarming story was very informative. I appreciate being educated on what
is really going on in the drug world. I have great sorrow for Aaron because his
choices have led him to prison. And he should be there. Did he think it
wasn't wrong? Was he a user also? Did he think he wouldn't get
caught? But, having a son in prison I know how utterly hopeless that life
is. My son has also explained how easy it is to get drugs into the prisons.
Let's hope that Aaron doesn't get involved in that. Prison is hell
where there are violence, drugs, murders and suicides. My son has watched
inmates in the cell next to him die. Because of this I also feel great
compassion for Aaron's family. I know how hard it is to visit my son in
prison. I know how difficult this is for a family. You don't ever expect
your son to end up in prison! I also have another son who sells and trades
bitcoins and is trying to tell me that I should put more money into bitcoins to
be prepared for any potential collapse of the economy. My heart goes out to
Aaron, his family and especially to all of those addicted to drugs.
Great investigative reporting, but it is important that you do not glamourize
evil or it will lull certain readers and your article will end up persuading
others to do the same. I am sure that with the talent this writing has
demonstrated that it could find a way to do that. An article written in a
neutral tone about a very evil undertaking isn't morally neutral. Also I
quite feel there's too much emphasis about him being a good kid and the
financial gains of such an undertaking. So this article tends to tell the story
more from Shamo's point of view. Maybe in your next articles you could
include something for the reader to understand the evil reality ofsuch an
undertaking so the reader will actually see the bitter truth and undesirable
fruits of it--like what devastation it causes-- and not just the attractive
benefits. Tell evil for what it truly is! Now that is more accurate story
"No one raindrop thinks that it is to blame for the flood of
incompetence."I don't have to be physically oozing slime
everywhere I go to be slimy. Sliminess catches up to you one action at a time.
You don't start out to be slimy. You aren't sitting in your basement
giving an evil laugh and saying, "I am a criminal genius!" Bit by bit,
action by action, you create your character.I don't know the
statistics, but if he was the main source and if 30,000 people are dying a year,
this guy could have killed dozens, hundreds, thousands. And he did it all from
a nice, clean-cut, middle class existence.The good that comes from
this story is that if he can do something so utterly rotten, without much of an
effort then others can do great good without much of an effort from the comfort
of their clean cut middle class lives.
In reply to the comment about the legalization of marijuana I have two points to
make.1. I have had a recent conversation with a local neurologist about
medical marijuana for epilepsy. This is a person whom I would have thought
might be for it. She was adamant about not even medical marijuana. She said
neurologists see all the negative effects in the hospitals.2. I recently
stayed in downtown Portland, Oregon where marijuana is legal and they pass out
thousands of clean needles. I did a great deal of walking every day I was
there. I literally stepped over and around countless homeless and addicted
young people. It was heartbreaking. I did not feel safe and was even in a
convenience store where another young man came in exclaiming about an attack one
a guy by one of these addicted kids that had just happened half a block down the
street. Thousands of needles that are supposed to be traded in for clean
needles are just left laying around to the danger of all residents.Thank
goodness they got Shamo locked up. Unfortunately he will be replaced much too
easily and the death and destruction will go on.
It's just about the money. No responsibility taken for the devastation and
fatal demise of users. Nice or not so nice?!
Very informative, but resist glamorizing the life of a drug kingpin. Focus on
the thousands & thousands of lives that are ruined and cut short directly
and all the lives of families that are indirectly affected. It's an ugly
avoidable mess! Say ugh to drugs. Lock him up for life and throw the key in the
deep dark ocean!
There is no sympathy for a cold calculating individual like this. He is
certainly responsible for much suffering and most likely death through overdose.
Locked up forever would be the least of the deserving scenarios that could
happen to him, and other individuals like him.
Holy Moly, Utah. You got drugs!This is a fascinating, educational, eye
opening, and gripping story. I loved reading it. I learned a lot. I've
pondered a lot. My mind is blown with how deep and wide this problem is!Thank you, DesNews. You've finally upped your game and are showing true
investigative reporting skills. This is what "real news" looks like.
Good job, and please keep it up!Mr. Shamo's life story is such
a tragic tale of wasted potential. My heart goes out to his family who are
obviously good people who love him and are devastated. He has parents who went
above and beyond trying every kind of intervention they could find for this boy.
Despite it all, for whatever reasons, this is a young man who has been
continually drawn like a moth to the flame to the darker side of life.
Eventually, these souls get too close to the flames and - thankfully for society
- get caught. But, it's pretty overwhelming to think of how deep and wide
this criminal activity runs. Let's keep shining light on this so we can
"I never would've imagined I'd end up here." Really? So
you're in your basement pressing pills that are killing people, and piled
up next to you are bags and bags of money - over a million dollars - and you
can't somehow, some way, summon up a scenario in your mind where
you're sent to prison? Wow.
He says he isn't a person like Pablo Escobar etc. Perhaps he didn't
have murder and hate in his heart, and that he would have drawn a line there;
but his actions did hurt and possibly killed people. I guess he thinks because
he doesn't know the end result of his actions that he can consider himself
not as guilty.My goodness-- what the love of money will do to the
conscience and souls of some people.I hope he can tap into the power
of the atonement and wash this filthy stain away.
Life sentence? Man, I don't want my taxes paying to house, feed, and
provide medication to this guy while the Trump administration makes it harder
for poor working people to even get insurance.Is there any evidence
that his drugs killed anyone?Seize his money, put him in prison 5-10
years.Frankly if we would just legalize cannabis, opium/heroine,
and low dosage cocaine we would be able to bankrupt the drug cartels, collect a
ton of revenue that could be used on drug treatment, higher education, and
infrastructure. Not to mention all of the really, really, really bad stuff
like phentnyl, etc... is just a response to the illegalization of the less
potent, less deadly stuff. Our laws are making the problem worse, not better.
"The Rise and Fall of Aaron Shamo"? There's no "rise"
here--just a sad fall from being a good kid to dealing in death and addiction.
Great story. This is a model for the kind of detailed investigative stories we
want to see in the Deseret News, and not just about local crime (I have already
suggested a handful to Ben Tullis).Well done.
Someday in the future this guy is going to wake up to the horrible misery and
destruction he caused in so many lives and then his real torment will begin. I
feel bad for him, his accomplices, and all his victims.
Very interesting story! It just goes to show this can happen to anyone. Small,
seemingly insignificant decisions do lead us to our destinies. Choose wisely and
For users and suppliers to think they're not being investigated by law
enforcement at the local, state and federal levels...they are wrong.
Wow! This is like an episode of Breaking Bad.
If an addict dies from drugs a drug dealer sells, the death penalty should
apply. Furthermore, anyone arrested for any kind of drug offense should not get
probation or parole until they divulge all information about who all their drug
contacts are. If the authorities later find out they withheld information,
their probation or parole should be revoked immediately. Furthermore, drug
dealing should be classified in our state code as a forcible/violent felony.
Incidentally, Great Job to John Huber and those who assisted in effectuating
If this guy sees himself as a "good kid", he truly is delusional. How
many lives were lost from the pills he manufactured and shipped?
Incredibly awesome story and oh yeah, Stephanie, your brother did not make a bad
decision -- he made thousands of bad decisions and on a daily basis over a long
period of time -- and put hundreds of lives in jeopardy. Send him away
“I’d want people to know I’m not like, a guy in a cartel, or
some Pablo Escobar,” Shamo said".Yes, Mr. Shamo, you are just
like Pablo Escobar. Your actions took lives.
Wow. So much $$$ for shipping some pills. So sad to think of the likely
deaths caused by shamo and other drug dealers who obviously dont care what
happens to their user. Such a tragedy for so many.