China sentences 3 in fentanyl trafficking case after US tip

Police stand guard outside the Xingtai Intermediate People’s court in Xingtai, China Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. A Chinese court sentenced three fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and U.S. law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids. (AP Photo/Erika Kinetz)
Police stand guard outside the Xingtai Intermediate People’s court in Xingtai county, north China’s Hebei province Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. A Chinese court sentenced three fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and U.S. law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids. (AP Photo/Erika Kinetz)
Police stand guard outside the Xingtai Intermediate People’s court in Xingtai county, north China’s Hebei province Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019. A Chinese court sentenced three fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and U.S. law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids. (AP Photo/Erika Kinetz)

XINGTAI, China — A Chinese court sentenced three fentanyl traffickers Thursday in a case that was a culmination of a rare collaboration between Chinese and U.S. law enforcement to crack down on global networks that manufacture and distribute lethal synthetic opioids.

Liu Yong was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve, while Jiang Juhua and Wang Fengxi were sentenced to life in prison. Six other members of the operation got lesser sentences.

Working off a 2017 tip from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Chinese police busted a drug ring based in the northern Chinese city of Xingtai that shipped synthetic drugs to the U.S. and other countries from a gritty clandestine laboratory. They arrested more than 20 criminal suspects and seized 11.9 kilograms (26.23 pounds) of fentanyl as well as 19.1 kilograms (42.11 pounds) of other drugs.

Liu had been accused of manufacturing and trafficking synthetic drugs from the lab in eastern China's Jiangsu province. Death sentences are almost always commuted to life in prison after the reprieve.

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 international borders.

U.S. officials say China's vast chemicals industry is the main source of illicit fentanyl. Chinese officials deny that, blaming greedy pharmaceutical companies, lax regulation, and out-of-control demand as the reasons America has an opioid abuse crisis.

___

This article has been corrected to change the spelling of Jiang Juhua.

Must Read

UN: Thousands of Central American children seek to enter US

Aug 23, 2016

UN children's agency says thousands of children trying to escape gang violence and poverty in...

Soldier who killed 5 Dallas officers showed PTSD symptoms

Aug 25, 2016

The Army reservist who killed five Dallas police officers last month showed symptoms of...

Garland tells law students that careers can be unpredictable

Aug 26, 2016

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland told entering Harvard Law School students on Friday that they...

Scams & waste loom as charity millions donated after Orlando

Aug 28, 2016

The more than 430 fundraisers posted on the GoFundMe website after the mass shooting at an Orlando...

European ships rescue thousands of migrants off Libyan coast

Aug 29, 2016

Italian naval ships along with vessels from non-government groups rescue thousands of migrants off...

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH