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Utah man found guilty of running massive opioid ring

FILE - This booking photo provided by the Weber County Sheriff's Office shows Aaron Michael Shamo. Shamo, a 29-year-old man at the center of a multimillion-dollar dark web opioid drug ring case says he saw himself as helping people get prescription drugs they needed while making money for himself and his friends. (Weber County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man has been found guilty of running a multimillion-dollar opioid ring that sent hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly pills across the country from his suburban basement.

A US jury reached the verdict Friday after deliberating less than a day in the case against 29-year-old Aaron Shamo.

Prosecutors say he was the kingpin of the ring that peddled fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl to thousands of people.

Authorities say the 2016 bust ranked among the country’s largest and helped fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic.

The jury deadlocked and made no finding on a charge that Shamo sold the drugs that caused the overdose death of a 21-year-old California man.

The defense acknowledged that Shamo was selling drugs but argued that he couldn’t have run the operation alone and there wasn’t proof he caused the overdose.