Feds’ Crackdown on Global Fentanyl Network Leads to Charges against China-Based Companies, Employees

Attorney General Merrick Garland. File photo: DOJ

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department on Tuesday charged eight Chinese chemical companies and 12 of their employees in connection with a crackdown on the global fentanyl network. 

The companies and their employees are accused of producing fentanyl and methamphetamine, distributing synthetic opioids, and supplying precursor chemicals, which are the chemical building blocks of the deadly drugs. 

“We know that the global fentanyl supply chain, which ends with the deaths of Americans, often starts with chemical companies in China,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said at a news conference. “The United States government is focused on breaking apart every link in that chain, getting fentanyl out of our communities, and bringing those who put it there to justice.” 

Garland said the defendants, who have not been taken into custody, bypassed customs agents and imported the chemicals directly into the U.S. and Mexico by using deceptive practices, such as fake shipping labels, false postage stamps and fraudulent invoices. 

“The international dimension to the deadly scourge of fentanyl requires the all-of-government response that we are delivering today,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said. “Through the dedication and investigative abilities of agents and officers from HSI, CBP, and our federal partners, we are bringing accountability to ruthless organizations and individuals resident in the People’s Republic of China and to the cartel members that seek to profit from the death and destruction that fentanyl causes.” 

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram called fentanyl “the deadliest drug threat our nation has ever faced.”

“These eight cases are the result of the DEA’s efforts to attack the fentanyl supply chain where it starts — in China. Chinese chemical companies are fueling the fentanyl crisis in the United States by sending fentanyl precursors, fentanyl analogues, xylazine, and nitazenes into our country and into Mexico,” Milgram said. “These chemicals are used to make fentanyl and make it especially deadly.”

She added, “DEA will not stop until we defeat this threat.”

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