According to the Justice Department, Chinese chemical companies have been deeply implicated in trafficking the precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl that reach the United States.
The US government has charged four Chinese companies, including Hubei Amarvel Biotech and its executives Qingzhou Wang, 35, Yiyi Chen, 31, and Fnu Lnu with trafficking fentanyl, importing precursor chemicals and money laundering.
The indictments mark the first time the United States has sought to prosecute one of the Chinese companies responsible for manufacturing the precursor chemicals used to make the highly addictive painkiller that fueled America’s opioid crisis.
Wang and Chen were arrested by federal agents of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration on June 8 and sentenced to be detained by a federal magistrate in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 9 until they could be transported to New York to appear before the judge assigned to the case. .
Yang is still on the run.
The US government has indicted four Chinese companies, including Hubei Amarvel Biotech. Attorney General Merrick Garland pictured above
Rebecca Kiessling, a mother who lost two sons to fentanyl poisoning, wipes away tears during a House Homeland Security Committee on the US-Mexico border
At a Friday press conference, prosecutors said nearly all fentanyl precursors are manufactured and shipped from China today.
Criminal organizations like the infamous Sinaloa Cartel work with Chinese companies to get their ingredients for fentanyl.
Prosecutors said the defendants “provided clients with the fentanyl manufacturing blueprint,” providing chemicals and advice on how to mix them.
In one case, a defendant even told a customer to substitute one ingredient for another to make twice as much fentanyl.
The companies allegedly mislabeled packages and falsified customs forms to smuggle chemicals across borders.
The chemicals, shipped in powder form, would be disguised as dog food or cosmetics, officials said.
Companies have gone so far as to disguise the chemicals by adding a molecule, then teaching their customers how to remove the molecule once they have received the chemicals.
“By altering the chemical signature, a modified substance could evade testing protocols and relevant regulations by appearing as a new substance,” the Department of Justice explained.
Officials said fentanyl precursors are easily purchased online and advertised on social media sites like Facebook.
Customers could use bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to pay, prosecutors said.
In one case, an accused allegedly sold 2 kilograms of fentanyl for just $1,000.
Prosecutors say Chinese companies are showing Mexican cartels how to make fentanyl. Some of the 30,000 fentanyl pills seized by the DEA at the border pictured
Chinese companies would work with Mexican cartels including that of Sinaloa. Burning vehicles are seen after drug lord Ovidio Guzman was captured in Sinaloa in January
That amount can produce 1.75 million lethal doses of fentanyl, meaning the price of one lethal dose may be less than a penny, prosecutors say.
During these investigations, the DEA seized more than 200 kilograms of fentanyl-related precursor chemicals, an amount that could contain enough lethal doses to kill 25 million Americans.
Wang, Chen and Yang reportedly agreed to continue supplying multi-ton shipments of undercover fentanyl precursors, even after learning that Americans had died after consuming fentanyl made from the chemicals the defendants had sold.
“Today’s announcement is a down payment on our promise to use every tool in the arsenal of government, around the world, to protect American communities,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco.
“The Department of Justice will not rest or relax its investigation and prosecution of every link in the fentanyl supply chain, including companies and PRC executives that produce and export large quantities of precursors. chemicals that drug cartels need to peddle their poison. There can be no safe haven.
DailyMail.com has previously reported how Chinese triad gangs have teamed up with brutal Mexican cartels to help them launder millions of illicit drug money by flooding the United States with fentanyl.
For at least seven years, Mexican mobsters, including the notorious El Chapo cartel in Sinaloa, have paid Chinese middlemen to “clean up” money made selling drugs on American streets as part of a complex scheme involving members of Beijing’s elite.
US lawmakers have called for an investigation into whether the Chinese Communist Party is complicit in the scheme amid warnings that Xi Jinping is using the US opioid crisis as one more weapon in his quest to establish a new world order.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin. The drug has devastated communities nationwide as an overdose pandemic rages.