Man Convicted Of Importing Chinese Fentanyl To Make Counterfeit Percocet

(Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP) (Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

Gabe Kaminsky Contributor
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A Rhode Island man was convicted Friday by a federal jury for conspiracy to import and distribute fentanyl, according to a Department of Justice press release.

Steven Barros Pinto, 40, was also charged for distributing fentanyl analogs, continuing criminal enterprise, money laundering conspiracy and several obstruction offenses. He faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in jail.

Court documents indicate Pinto conspired to create counterfeit Percocet pills from Chinese fentanyl and worked with two other individuals who plead guilty in the past. (RELATED: Border Officials Seized More Fentanyl In The First Four Months Of 2021 Than During The Same Period In 2020)

On his own, Pinto distributed tens of thousands of pills laced with fentanyl. He obtained the narcotics with the help of Daniel Vivas Ceron, from Colombia, and Anthony Gomes, a Rhode Islander. Ceron pleaded guilty in July 2019 and Gomes in April 2018.

Sentencing will occur on Oct. 14. The investigation was a joint effort by several groups, including, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Portland Oregon Police Bureau, and others.