China court sends 9 to prison for smuggling opioids into U.S.

China sentences three in fentanyl trafficking case after US tip

Chinese officials worked off a 2017 tip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security about an online drug vendor who went by the name Diana, and wound up arresting more than 20 suspects and seizing 26.2 pounds of fentanyl and 42.1 pounds of other drugs.

A court in northern China sentenced one fentanyl trafficker to death and eight others for various jail sentences on Thursday after a drug bust that was the first collaboration between law enforcement officials in China and the us working to crack down globally on synthetic opioids. Carter warned that Fentanyl trafficking and the use of the synthetic narcotic to enhance street drugs is a direct threat to the nation.

The court in northern Hebei province described the case as the first successful joint US-Chinese probe related to fentanyl smuggling, and US officials also hailed the verdict.

The Americans then shared the information with Chinese counterparts and the investigation led to the arrests at the end of 2017, Moore said.

Austin Moore, an attaché to China for the DHS, told the Associated Press the Xingtai case was "an important step" showing that Chinese and USA investigators are able to collaborate across worldwide borders.

The joint operation has proved effective and the two countries will continue to work together to stem the flow of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, Chinese and United States narcotics control officials said.

A Chinese man was convicted and sentenced to death for trafficking fentanyl to the United States, The New York Times reports.

Deadly 5.8 magnitude quake hits northwestern Iran
At least five people lost their lives and 120 were injured after an quake of 5.9-magnitude struck northwestern Iran on Friday. Press TV said emergency and evaluation teams are operating and Red Crescent teams have been dispatched to the area.

In form, the enterprise resembled a small business, with a perky sales force that spoke passable English, online marketing, contract manufacturing, and a sophisticated export operation, according to US and Chinese law enforcement. Yong was sentenced to death with a two year reprieve, Juhua and Wang Fengxi were both sentenced to life in prison, and six others connected to the operation received sentences between six months to 10 years. US officials have reportedly moved to link Beijing's efforts on fentanyl to USA trade talks.

US President Donald Trump has criticized China for failing to stop illegal drug shipments to the US, and has called on Chinese President Xi Jinping to step up countermeasures.

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In 2016, when synthetic opioids overtook prescription opioids as the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths in the US, illegal fentanyl was the primary cause, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "This case has nothing to do with the trade war", he said later in response to a question from Bloomberg.

In April, China officially banned all forms of fentanyl, following through on a promise President Xi Jinping had made to Trump past year.

"This further demonstrates the Chinese government's consistent attitude of zero tolerance towards drug crimes", he said.

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