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RememberSchiff

Alleged Fentanyl kingpin was Eagle Scout (UT)

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Posted (edited)

The hits keep coming...

Former Eagle Scout Aaron Shamo, 29, will stand trial beginning Monday on allegations that he and a small group of fellow millennials ran a multimillion-dollar empire from the basement of his suburban Salt Lake City home by trafficking hundreds of thousands of pills containing fentanyl, the potent synthetic opioid that has exacerbated the country's overdose epidemic in recent years.

...

Shamo's family, though, said he's been singled out even as deeply involved friends are offered more lenient plea deals. His father, Mike Shamo, said his son was a chess whiz as a kid who experimented with marijuana in his teen years, but later earned his Eagle Scout badge crocheting blankets for a hospital.

More details at source link:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-drug-bust-aaron-shamo-former-eagle-scout-accused-multimillion-drug-empire-salt-lake-city-utah/

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Not sure what the point is.  There have always been Eagles that did not live up to the Oath and Law in later life, or sometimes even while in the program.  That an Eagle would step out of the mold just proves that they are normal people, prey to the same temptations and foibles as anyone else.  The difference is how few, in comparison to their peers, do go in the wrong direction.  There have been numerous studies to verify that.  We DO NOT win all the challenges, nor does Scouting save all its successful participants.  Just look at some of the poor examples of Eagles that populate our government halls.  Are some of them any better than the drug seller in the damage they are causing or have caused?  Instead of pointing to the worst examples, why not instead continue to find ways to prove he is an aberration?  

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Posted (edited)

IMHO, if a accusation can remove a scouter from the BSA , a  felony conviction should rescind an Eagle award.   A partial response to aberration.

My $0.02,

 

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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Just now, RememberSchiff said:

IMHO, if a accusation can remove a scouter from the BSA , a  felony conviction should rescind an Eagle award.   A partial response to aberration.

My $0.02,

 

 

And I fully agree that BSA "should" actually have a way to officially recind Eagle, and possibly other special awards like Silver Beaver and so on, should the holder prove they no longer deserve to hold the honor.  Sort of goes back to the old fine print in earlier books about Trustworth:  "A Scout's Honor is to be trusted.  If he were to violate this honor by lying, cheating, or not doing exactly a given task, he MAY be directed to hand over his Scout Badge."

In my earlier comment, I simply state my feeling that the Scouting connection should not be a major factor in the aberrant behavior of someone.  Other than trying to somehow lessen the mostly positive image of Scouting, even in today's almost amoral society, it serves little purpose.

 

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Posted (edited)

What it comes down to is that the BSA and it's volunteers have sold Scouting as a positive environment for kids. We've sold it as character development, an all American activity. So when folks involved with Scouting  do terrible things, the media pounces, because it's scandalous. If it bleeds, it leads, and the same is true of scandalous things. Most folks with an opinion worth a cup of spit aren't going to look at this young man pushing drugs and think, "Scouting caused him to do that." I don't feel a need to defend Scouting from a situation like this.

 

Edited by RememberSchiff
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17 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

Most folks with an opinion worth a cup of spit aren't going to look at this young man pushing drugs and think, "Scouting caused him to do that." I don't feel a need to defend Scouting from a situation like this.

My concern is some people will say "An Eagle Scout did that < terrible thing>" or  worse that the BSA cannot maintain its standards ( sorry for the awkward wording). IMO,  we should be prepared with an official response akin to what @skeptic stated and that the former scout  is no longer an Eagle.

Another $0.02

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The problem with rescinding an Eagle is who decides what crime rises to the level of losing the award? Shoplifting? Embezzlement? Selling a dime-bag on the street? DUI? DUI that results in vehicular homicide?

The reality is that Eagle hopefully represents what a person was at a particular point in their life, though we all know there is a wide range of actual knowledge that a Scout can have and behaviors that they may exhibit and still earn Eagle. Also, just because someone does something wrong at some point in their life doesn't mean that bad action has to forever define who they are for their remaining days. The act of taking away recognition of an Eagle award could have a negative effect on hope of rehabilitation from criminal acts.

 

 

 

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Not downplaying the severity of the charges or impact on the BSA and Eagle Scouts; wonder if he earned Entrepreneurship, American Business, or Truck Transportation Merit Badges?  Also assume he got to see the essential elements of Fingerprinting Merit Badge up close and personal.

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1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

Not downplaying the severity of the charges or impact on the BSA and Eagle Scouts; wonder if he earned Entrepreneurship, American Business, or Truck Transportation Merit Badges?  Also assume he got to see the essential elements of Fingerprinting Merit Badge up close and personal.

You forgot Chemistry and Salesmanship.

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1. It's interesting that the press uses the word "former". They have the good sense to know that any of us with that knot were Eagle scouts -- in spite of any NESA rhetoric to the contrary.

2. These stories only show how significant a history of being in active in scouts is in the public mind.

3. There's still a long life in front of this young man. Even if incarcerated, that scouting experience may shed light on an otherwise dark world.

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2 hours ago, sierracharliescouter said:

The problem with rescinding an Eagle is who decides what crime rises to the level of losing the award? Shoplifting? Embezzlement? Selling a dime-bag on the street? DUI? DUI that results in vehicular homicide?

The reality is that Eagle hopefully represents what a person was at a particular point in their life, though we all know there is a wide range of actual knowledge that a Scout can have and behaviors that they may exhibit and still earn Eagle. Also, just because someone does something wrong at some point in their life doesn't mean that bad action has to forever define who they are for their remaining days. The act of taking away recognition of an Eagle award could have a negative effect on hope of rehabilitation from criminal acts.

 

I dunno. How many linked opioid deaths do you need? Here's one allegedly traced back to said Eagle. Note he allegedly shipped 800,000 pills nationwide. 

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900083757/aaron-shamo-accused-utah-pillmaker-fentanyl-death-trial.html

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900028644/utahs-overdose-deaths-fall-12-percent-despite-nationwide-surge.html

Short answer to your two questions.

1. Start with those convicted of a felony. 

2. Unless conviction is overturned, former Eagle remains just that. 

Another $0.02

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3 hours ago, Sentinel947 said:

What it comes down to is that the BSA and it's volunteers have sold Scouting as a positive environment for kids. We've sold it as character development, an all American activity.

There's a difference between selling character development and selling eagle. Character evolves slowly in fits, starts and reversals. Nobody ever claims perfect character. Eagle is sudden, as soon as the final signature on the app is made. Before the signature one is just a scout, afterwards one is forever eagle - the epitome of scouting and as close to perfect as one can get. Equating the two is a fool's errand but many people are buying into it.

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2 hours ago, MattR said:

There's a difference between selling character development and selling eagle. Character evolves slowly in fits, starts and reversals. Nobody ever claims perfect character. Eagle is sudden, as soon as the final signature on the app is made. Before the signature one is just a scout, afterwards one is forever eagle - the epitome of scouting and as close to perfect as one can get. Equating the two is a fool's errand but many people are buying into it.

Yes, however every rank includes show scout spirit. If we (BSA) took that seriously then just like all other requirements which require demonstration/knowledge of increased competency, showing scout spirit could (should?) have an ever increasing threshold for advancement purposes. Unfortunately for most it is just an automatic sign-off devoid of any metric whatsoever. So while I agree with your distinction, it doesn't have to be that way. The method(s) should directly impact the aims. If advancement does not further the aims, then it really isn't a functional method.

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20 hours ago, Jameson76 said:

Not downplaying the severity of the charges or impact on the BSA and Eagle Scouts; wonder if he earned Entrepreneurship, American Business, or Truck Transportation Merit Badges?  Also assume he got to see the essential elements of Fingerprinting Merit Badge up close and personal.

He could probably have knocked out a few requirements for Crime Prevention too.  Requirement 7b is to visit a jail or criminal court hearing....bet he has no trouble getting that one signed off!

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