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Press Release

Fentanyl Trafficker Extradited to the United States

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

On Jan. 24, Canadian authorities extradited Christopher Bantli, a prolific vendor of various controlled substances, to the United States to face drug trafficking charges filed in the District of Columbia.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Marcus Anderson of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Orlando Field Office made the announcement.

Bantli, 39, arrived in the United States Thursday evening and made an initial appearance on Friday, Jan. 25 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robinson in federal court in Washington, D.C. Bantli is charged in a seven-count indictment alleging that from November 2015 through September 2016, he imported into the United States from Canada and elsewhere various controlled substances, including powerful synthetic opiates such as acetyl fentanyl.  This case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

The case was investigated by the DEA, in cooperation with Canadian law enforcement authorities.  Trial Attorney Brian Nicholson of the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in bringing Bantli to the United States and procuring foreign evidence during the investigation.  The U.S. Marshals Service provided critical assistance by assisting in the extradition.

The U.S. Department of Justice thanks the Government of Canada for its assistance in this case, in particular the Calgary Police Service Cybercrime Support Team.

This case is also the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state, and local enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, and money laundering organizations and enterprises.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Trial Attorneys Kaitlin Sahni and Anthony Aminoff of the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS) are prosecuting the case. Deputy Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s (MLARS) Special Financial Investigations Unit Stephen Sola and Trial Attorney Erin Cox, both formerly of NDDS, also provided significant assistance on the case.

Updated February 1, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 19-45