A South Florida federal grand jury indicted a former federal agent and three other Miami-Dade residents for their alleged roles in an operation that involved illegal Oxycodone distribution, federal witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
The indictment charges Alberico Ahias Crespo, 46, a former Special Agent with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), with conspiring to traffic oxycodone, tamper with witnesses, and obstruct justice and with substantive counts of witness tampering.
During the time of the alleged crimes, Crespo worked as part of the South Florida Health Care Fraud Strike Force, made up of interagency teams of federal investigators and prosecutors focused on combating health care fraud and health care-related narcotics trafficking in Southern Florida.
Also charged in the indictment are Jorge Diaz Gutierrez, 66, Yandre Trujillo Hernandez, 41 and Anais Lorenzo, 32. Diaz Gutierrez, identified in the indictment as a patient recruiter, is charged with drug trafficking, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice crimes. Hernandez Trujillo and Lorenzo face drug trafficking charges.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Miami Field Office, and Derrick L. Franklin, Special Agent in Charge, HHS-OIG, Special Investigations Branch, made the announcement.
Crespo and Diaz Gutierrez were initially charged for their conduct by a criminal complaint filed on July 22, 2020. According to the criminal complaint affidavit, the illegal Oxycodone distribution system involved patients, pharmacies, and medical clinics.
Patients were recruited and sent to medical clinics to obtain Oxycodone prescriptions that they did not need. Once the patients obtained the prescriptions, they would give them to the recruiter in exchange for money. Recruiters would fill the prescriptions at certain pharmacies and sell the Oxycodone pills (at a mark-up) to third party street dealers.
Also according to the criminal complaint affidavit, Crespo used his position as an HHS-OIG Special Agent working on health care fraud cases to protect the Oxycodone operation by monitoring Strike Force investigations involving the operation, accessing and disclosing sensitive law enforcement information to Diaz Gutierrez, a patient recruiter, updating Diaz Gutierrez on the progress of health care fraud investigations, and coaching Diaz Gutierrez on how to lie to investigators and tamper with evidence.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of FBI and HHS-OIG, Special Investigations Branch. Assistant United States Attorneys Sean T. McLaughlin and Christopher Clark are prosecuting this case.
Indictments and criminal complaints are accusations that contain allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.