Federal agent convicted in South Florida Oxycodone witness-tampering case

A federal Health and Human Services agent has been found guilty of witness tampering and obstruction of justice in a South Florida case that also involved the illegal distribution of Oxycodone.

Alberico Ahias Crespo, 48, a Special Agent with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, was part of a multi-agency South Florida Health Care Fraud Strike Force, according to federal prosecutors. But instead of taking down prescription drug traffickers, prosecutors say, Crespo was helping to protect them by stifling ongoing investigations.

“The vast majority of law enforcement officers uphold their duties with the highest level of integrity,” federal prosecutor Markenzy Lapointe said in a news release. “But, where the toxic mix of ego, arrogance, and corruption taint an agent’s convictions, the criminal justice system will hold the officer accountable. The verdict in this matter reminds us that no one is untouchable, no one is above the law.”

“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.”

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Crespo was close friends with Jorge Diaz Gutierrez, who was a target of a Strike Force criminal investigation from November 2016 through July 2020. Prosecutors said Diaz Gutierrez and two others would have patient “recruiters” direct new patients to medical clinics to obtain Oxycodone prescriptions they did not need. The new patients would sell the prescriptions to the recruiters, who would then have them filled and sell the pills to street dealers.

Crespo was found not guilty on one count of conspiracy to traffic oxycodone. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years’ in prison for each count in the conviction, a potential sentence of 40 years. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28 by U.S. District Judge Darrin P. Gayles.

Rafael Olmeda can be reached at rolmeda@sunsentinel.com or 954-356-4457.