Former federal agent sentenced to over 8 years for his role in illegal painkiller trafficking

MIAMI (AP) — A former federal agent has been sentenced to over eight years in prison for his role in an illegal prescription painkiller operation in South Florida.

Alberico Ahias Crespo, 48, was sentenced Wednesday in Miami federal court, according to court records. He was previously convicted at trial of witness tampering, conspiracy to commit witness tampering and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Crespo had formerly served as a special agent with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General until his arrest in 2020.

According to evidence introduced at trial, Crespo worked as part of a task force involved in health care fraud in South Florida and used his position to protect an oxycodone trafficking scheme and impede related fraud investigations. From November 2016 to July 2020, patient recruiters who were previously convicted were part of the illegal scheme to traffic oxycodone involving patients, pharmacies and medical clinics.

Crespo had been friends with one of the recruiters and used his position to protect the drug operation, prosecutors said. Crespo passed along sensitive information about investigations to his friend and coached the friend on how to lie to investigators and tamper with evidence, officials said.