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Richmond Hill man convicted of operating Jamaica-based opioid ‘pill mill’

Jamaica opioid pill mill
Photo via Getty Images

A Richmond Hill man on Monday, June 27, was found guilty of operating a large-scale opioid “pill mill” in Jamaica.

Ezhil Sezhian Kamaldoss, 43, was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn on all counts of a superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute millions of opioid tablets and other controlled substances imported from India and money laundering conspiracy. The verdict followed a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Allyne R. Ross. When sentenced, Kamaldoss faces up to 50 years in prison.

The evidence at trial proved that between May 2018 and August 2019, Kamaldoss participated with seven co-defendants in a transnational drug-trafficking conspiracy, which involved the importation of misbranded prescription drugs, including Tramadol, a synthetic opioid, into the United States from India; repackaging the drugs at a “pill mill” operating out of a Jamaica warehouse; and shipping the drugs via U.S. mail to customers throughout the U.S.

During the course of the charged conspiracy, Kamaldoss and the men who worked with him distributed millions of Tramadol pills, sometimes purchasing hundreds of thousands of pills at a time. Additionally, Kamaldoss conspired to launder the proceeds of the drug-trafficking operation by using the illicit profits to reinvest in the business, including by paying shipping costs incurred by his co-conspirators, including nearly $200,000 in Federal Express costs paid off in exchange for additional pills.

The government’s evidence included the following:

  • Testimony from a cooperating witness, who admitted to bribing workers at JFK International Airport to evade detection by law enforcement authorities.
  • Members of law enforcement, one of whom testified that he witnessed the defendant shipping packages and seizing some of the drugs mailed by the defendant.
  • Testimony from an expert in forensic chemistry said that the drugs mailed by the defendant contained Tramadol and Alprazolam.
  • Documentary exhibits, including hundreds of emails, text messages and spreadsheets recovered from email accounts and electronic devices of the defendant and his co-conspirators reflecting their daily receipt of dozens of drug orders, and their responses including tracking numbers of the shipments fulfilling the orders.
  • An audio recording made by a confidential informant of co-defendant Velaudapillai Navaratnarajah discussing the number and type of pills to package into envelopes.

Navaratnarajah pleaded guilty in June 2022 to the drug conspiracy charges and is awaiting sentencing.

“The defendant is now a convicted drug dealer. He lined his pockets off the black-market sales of millions of illegal opioids and misbranded prescription pills without regard for the harm caused by the abuse of these highly addictive and dangerous drugs,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said. “With today’s verdict, the defendant is held accountable for having a hand in every aspect of his pill mill, from the importing of unapproved medications from India, to personally filling orders for these drugs to customers throughout the country.”

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