The nine were sentenced after pleading guilty to manufacturing and trafficking, charges stemming from when Chinese police busted the drug ring based in the northern Chinese city of Xingtai.
The Chinese police have caught hold of a drug ring that is based in the northern Chinese city of Xingtai that dispatched synthetic drugs illicitly to the United States and other countries. More than 20 suspects were captured or investigated and the police cracked down on one fentanyl manufacturing base, two sales outlets and seized 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, along with 19.1 kilograms of other drugs including alprazolam, said Yu.
Austin Moore, an attaché to China for the U.S. Homeland Security Department, said the case was "an important step" showing that Chinese and U.S. investigators have the capacity to collaborate across worldwide borders.
A trial continues as fentanyl drug traffickers are sentenced in court, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in Xingtai, north China's Hebei Province. They include one death sentence suspended for two years and life in prison and lesser sentences for the others. Six others were sentenced to between six months and 10 years. Death sentences in China are nearly always commuted to life in prison after the reprieve.
Police then tracked down the company's supplier, Liu Yong, who began running a fentanyl lab in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, in May 2017, Yu said. The move means that those who produce or distribute fentanyl can receive the maximum punishment for drug trafficking - death. "The case has set a good example of China and the USA jointly fighting fentanyl-related crimes", Yu said.
After the sentences were announced, a senior Chinese official told reporters that the accused had been smuggling fentanyl to the United States, adding that Chinese authorities had acted on information provided by a U.S. government body in China in 2017. The group was responsible for shipping fentanyl to the US and several other countries. She adds, "U.S. authorities have carried out three "major criminal arrests" in NY and OR as part of the same case". He said the case should not be connected to politics or the trade war, and the timing of the sentencing was the result of the legal process.
Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid, 50 times more potent than heroin. In August, President Donald Trump lashed out at Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to do more to combat illicit opioid distribution in China's vast, freewheeling chemicals industry.
"China's control of fentanyl has become more strict, but the number of deaths in the US from fentanyl have risen".
The Hebei case began in 2017, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tipped off the Chinese government that an worldwide fentanyl trafficking ring seemed to be operating out of China.