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MIAMI – Yesterday, a South Florida federal jury convicted a federal agent for his role in an operation that involved illegal Oxycodone distribution, federal witness tampering, and obstruction of justice.
Alberico Ahias Crespo, 48, a Special Agent with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), was convicted of three substantive counts of witness tampering, conspiracy to commit witness tampering, and conspiracy to obstruct justice. According to evidence introduced at trial, during the time of the criminal activity, 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. Crespo used his position as an agent to protect and advance a multi-year Oxycodone trafficking scheme and impede related federal health care fraud investigations, including investigations in which Crespo himself was involved.
“The vast majority of law enforcement officers uphold their duties with the highest level of integrity. But, where the toxic mix of ego, arrogance, and corruption taint an agent’s convictions, the criminal justice system will hold the officer accountable,” stated Markenzy Lapointe, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “The verdict in this matter reminds us that no one is untouchable, no one is above the law, and that there are severe consequences for anyone who engages in witness tampering and the obstruction of justice.”
“We are pleased with the conviction of Alberico Crespo because his actions not only violated the law, they also undermined the public’s trust in law enforcement,” said Jeffrey B. Veltri, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami. “Every day, thousands of dedicated and honorable law enforcement officers take to the streets to protect South Florida communities. It is on their behalf that the FBI and Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General sought to root out this wrongdoing to ensure that the high standards we expect of law enforcement are met and maintained.”
“Alberico Ahias Crespo betrayed the trust of the people he swore to serve, and today, he is seeing the consequences for his reprehensible actions,” said Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Christian J. Schrank of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “I am proud of our agents and prosecutors who worked tirelessly to hold Crespo accountable. HHS-OIG will not tolerate corruption within our ranks.”
From November 2016 to July 2020, previously convicted patient recruiters Jorge Diaz Gutierrez, Yandre Trujillo Hernandez, and Anais Lorenzo, were part of the illegal Oxycodone trafficking scheme involving patients, pharmacies, and medical clinics. The patient recruiters sent patients to selected medical clinics to obtain Oxycodone prescriptions that the patients did not need. Once the patients obtained the prescriptions, they would give them to the patient recruiters in exchange for money. The patients would fill the prescriptions at pharmacies selected by the recruiters and sell the Oxycodone pills (at a mark-up) to third party street dealers.
Diaz Gutierrez and Crespo were close friends and associates, including while Diaz Gutierrez was a criminal target of the Strike Force. Crespo used his position as an HHS-OIG Special Agent working on health care fraud cases to protect Diaz Gutierrez’s Oxycodone operation. Crespo did this by monitoring Strike Force investigations involving Diaz Gutierrez, accessing information, disclosing sensitive law enforcement information to Diaz Gutierrez, 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.
Crespo was acquitted on the conspiracy to traffic oxycodone charge. Crespo faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment for each count of conviction.
Crespo is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles on November 28, 2023.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI, Miami Field Office, and Christian J. Schrank, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, HHS-OIG,, made the announcement.
U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe commended the investigative efforts of FBI and HHS-OIG. Assistant United States Attorneys Sean T. McLaughlin and Christopher Clark prosecuted this case.
You may find related court documents and information on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20005.
Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida