PORTLAND, Ore.—A known Hoover Criminal Gang member and resident of Portland pleaded guilty today to federal gun and drug charges for his role in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy.
Aumontae Wayne Smith, 22, pleaded guilty to possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to court documents and testimony, Smith and an unnamed accomplice conspired with one another to distribute counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl in and around Portland. Investigators seized six firearms from Smith and his accomplice with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Further investigation revealed Smith purchased 16 firearms that were linked to 17 different shootings in the Portland area between April and December 2020.
On April 6, 2021, a federal grand jury in Portland returned an indictment charging Smith with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute fentanyl, possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. On April 16, 2021, he voluntarily surrendered to law enforcement.
With continued and early acceptance of responsibility, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will join Smith in jointly recommending a sentence of 70 months in prison when he is sentenced on August 9, 2021 before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Marco A. Hernandez.
This case was investigated by the Portland Police Bureau, FBI, and ATF. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Opioid abuse affects communities across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2019, its most recent data, there were 70,630 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. Opioids and synthetic opioids were alone responsible for 49,860 overdose deaths or nearly 71% of all overdoses. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of injury or death in the United States.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. A 3-milligram dose of fentanyl—a few grains of the substance—is enough to kill an average adult male.
The availability of illicit fentanyl in Oregon has presented public safety and health officials with a host of new challenges, including a dramatic increase in overdose deaths. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Oregon have doubled between 2016 and 2019.
If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, please call the Lines for Life substance abuse helpline at 1-800-923-4357 or visit www.linesforlife.org. Phone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also text “RecoveryNow” to 839863 between 8am and 11pm Pacific Time daily.
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