A Las Vegas man who had a pivotal role in a major oxycodone distribution ring was sentenced Monday in Portland, Ore., to more than 17 years in prison, federal authorities said
Kingsley Osemwengie, 27, pleaded guilty in December to a three-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, conspiracy to launder drug proceeds, and conspiracy to violate the federal Travel Act. He was sentenced Monday by Senior U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty.
The case involved drug trafficking and money laundering in Nevada, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Utah, Colorado, New York, Washington, Alaska, Pennsylvania and Oregon between January 2008 and March 2011, when Osemwengie was arrested.
“This investigation, dubbed Operation Trick or Treat, was the largest oxycodone trafficking case in the history of the District of Oregon based on the sheer volume of oxycodone distributed, the geographic scope of the conspiracy, and the enormous profits generated for the benefit of the defendants,” according to a statement released by the U.S. attorney’s office in Portland.
Osemwengie, a former student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, was the 18th defendant convicted in the case.
Authorities said oxycodone is a prescription pain reliever that carries a high risk of abuse, addiction and overdose.
While on supervised release for two prior federal felonies involving fraud, Osemwengie and an associate arranged for tens of thousands of oxycodone pills, acquired in Miami and Las Vegas, to be distributed to customers across the United States, authorities said.
More than 10,000 oxycodone pills and 1,900 counterfeit oxycodone pills were seized by investigators in the case.
Authorities said Osemwengie 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 about $1.2 million were made into six bank accounts controlled by Osemwengie. Authorities said he created several shell companies to disguise the source of his income and maintained luxury residences in Las Vegas and Miami. He also drove high-end vehicles.
Authorities said the value of assets forfeited in the case exceeded $600,000.
Three other Las Vegas residents have been sentenced to prison for their roles in the case.
Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at email@example.com or 702-384-8710.