Drug conspiracy moved hundreds of packages of fentanyl, killed at least four
Four Chinese nationals face charges, and another five face economic sanctions, related to a multistate fentanyl trafficking conspiracy that claimed at least four American lives, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday.
Federal work in busting the drug trafficking network has been years in the making, beginning with the January 2015 overdose death of a Grand Forks, N.D. teenager. Tracing the source of fentanyl that led to that tragic death uncovered a conspiracy dealing drugs in 11 states, from Oregon to Florida, over the course of five years. All of those drugs were coming from mainland China, a major source of deadly fentanyl in American drug markets.
At the head of the conspiracy was Jian Zhang, a Chinese national and the owner of Zaron Bio-Tech (Asia) Ltd. Jian, the Treasury and Justice Departments allege, used his company and its factories across southeast Asia to produce fentanyl and smuggle it to the United States.
Jian Zhang was previously indicted by the Justice Department as part of the first ever indictment of Chinese nationals for fentanyl trafficking in the United States. On Friday, Jian, along with four of his co-conspirators and his business, was slapped with a further sanction in the form of designation as a "Significant Foreign Narcotics Trafficker" by the Department of the Treasury.