LAS VEGAS -- A major Oregon drug prosecution resulted Tuesday in a lengthy federal prison sentence for a Las Vegas man who pled guilty to conspiracy charges of distributing oxycodone, laundering drug proceeds and violating the travel act, the Jusitce Department said.
Kingsley Iyare Osemwengie, 27, was sentenced by U.S. District Senior Judge Ancer Haggerty in Portland, Ore., to 17 1/2 years in prison. Osemwengie pled guilty in December for his pivotal role in an oxycodone distribution ring that operated in Nevada, Oregon and 10 other states between January 2008 and his arrest in March 2011.
He became the 18th defendant convicted in a case dubbed Operation Trick or Treat.
"This is the largest oxycodone trafficking conspiracy ever prosecuted in Oregon, and one of the largest in the nation," Oregon's U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall said. "Stemming the flow of prescription opiates is a crucial feature of our drug enforcement strategy, as addiction from these drugs and the conversion to heroin use is a national epidemic.
"I commend the exceptional agency partnerships that brought these conspirators to justice. In addition to the sentence in this case, the court forfeited more than $600,000 in drug proceeds. Taking the profit out of drug trafficking is another key part of our deterrence strategy."
Oxycodone is a Schedule II drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. As a prescription-only product, this powerful pain reliever from the opioid family carries a high risk of abuse, addiction, and overdose, including death. People who become addicted to oxycodone often switch to the opiate heroin that is much cheaper and more easily obtainable on the street. This frequently leads to heroin addiction, overdose and occasionally death.
While on supervised release for two prior federal felonies involving fraud, Osemwengie, operating from Las Vegas, and associate Olubenga Temitope Badamosi, 34, a Nigerian citizen living in Milwaukie, Ore., arranged for tens of thousands of oxycodone pills acquired in Miami and Las Vegas to be distributed to customers nationwide. They used call girls and couriers to transport oxycodone and money across the country.
Investigators identified 774 airplane flights for 71 different couriers to 40 different American cities at a total cost of $96,000 during the life of the conspiracy. At other times, drugs and money were transported by commercial carrier or through the mail. More than 10,000 oxycodone pills and 1,900 counterfeit oxycodone pills were seized by investigators in this case. A single 80 milligram oxycodone pill sold for a range of $30 wholesale to $80 retail.
Osemwengie, Badamosi, and other conspirators netted millions of dollars of drug proceeds that allowed them to live opulent lifestyles. Between January 2008 and October 2010, cash deposits totaling $1,218,000 were made into six bank accounts controlled by Osemwengie.
He created several shell companies to disguise the source of his income and maintained luxury residences in Las Vegas and Miami, one of which he rented for $10,000 a month. He drove high-end automobiles, including two Mercedes Benzes and four Bentleys, one of which he purchased for $118,500.
Other Las Vegas defendants previously sentenced for oxycodone conspiracy charges in this case include Shaun Wesley Tyler, 32 (37-month sentence), Marcus Charles Albert, 33, (63-month sentence), and Melvin Allotey, 29 (four-year sentence).
Another Las Vegas resident, 27-year-old Reina Tomiko Nakachi, has plead guilty to related charges and will be sentenced by Judge Haggerty on June 10.