A court in China has sentenced nine fentanyl traffickers on November 7 in a case that is the culmination of rare cooperation between Chinese and US law enforcement to identify the global networks that produce and distributes lethal synthetic opioids. Liu Yong was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve while on the other hand, Jiang Juhua and Wang Fengxi were sentenced to life in prison. The six other members of the operation received lesser sentences, ranging from six months to 10 years.
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 US and other countries. They have taken more than 20 suspects into their custody and seized 11.9 kilograms (26.2 pounds) of fentanyl and 19.1 kilograms (42.1 pounds) of other drugs. According to the US and Chinese law enforcement, the enterprise resembled a small business where the salespersons spoke passable English and looked after the online marketing, contract manufacturing, and sophisticated export operation.
The photographs captured by the police show a chaotic scene with open containers of unidentified chemicals. Liu and Jiang were accused of manufacturing and trafficking illicit drugs. The others were accused of trafficking. The Chinese officials said that the Xingtai case was one of the three fentanyl trafficking networks that they are operating with the help of US intelligence. Austin Moore, an attache to China for the U.S. Homeland Security Department said that the Xingtai case was a very important step which shows the Chinese and US investigators able to cooperate across international borders. According to the reports of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 500000 Americans lost their lives due to drug overdoses at the end of 2017.