Chinese national living in Massachusetts arrested and charged with distributing opioids that were shipped from China to the U.S. and ultimately to Ohio
A Chinese national living in Massachusetts was arrested and charged with distributing opioids and other drugs that were shipped from China to the United States and ultimately to Ohio, law enforcement officials said.
Bin Wang, 42, operated Cambridge Chemicals, Wonda Science, and other companies from a warehouse in Woburn, Massachusetts.
Law enforcement began investigating shipments of carfentanil, fentanyl and other opioids in August 2016, after a series of fatal overdoses in Northeast Ohio, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.
That investigation led them to several Chinese web sites, which they learned were selling kilogram amounts of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, which were shipped via private carriers such as FedEx. One of the web sites was used to purchase acetylfentanyl that caused the overdose deaths of two Summit County residents in 2015, according to the affidavit.
Beginning in November 2016, undercover agents began ordering opioids and other drugs from a man in China identified at “Gordon Jin.” The agents wired money to China using Western Union or MoneyGram. Investigators learned Jin sent the drugs Wang in Massachusetts, who in turn mailed the drugs domestically, including to locations in Northeast Ohio, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit details numerous sales and shipments of drugs from China to Massachusetts to Ohio from November 2016 through this month.
“Increasingly, the opioids that are killing our friends and neighbors are being sent here from China,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Sierleja. “Shutting down this pipeline will help in our efforts to turn the tide on the opioid epidemic. We will focus on prevention, education, and aggressive law enforcement, both here and around the world.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon said: “The importation of opioids and other synthetic drugs from China has played a significant role in America’s current drug use epidemic. Over 60,000 people a year die from drug overdoses in this country, and halting all methods of drug trafficking, including by way of the Internet is a top priority of the DEA. This investigation makes clear that geographic and technological hurdles will not stop DEA and our partners from bringing to justice those responsible for the illegal distribution of drugs in the U.S.”
“As opioids and other dangerous drugs continue to plague our communities in Ohio, a unified law enforcement community is the only way to stem the tide of this dangerous and deadly epidemic,” said Steve Francis, special agent in charge HSI Detroit, which covers Michigan and Ohio. “In order to have a significant impact, these organizations must be attacked from the street-level dealer to the wholesale distributor.”
“This investigation is a great example of a collaborative effort of federal agencies and a local drug task force working together to identify and track down people and organizations that are responsible for the ever-increasing shipments of very powerful synthetic opiates into Ohio,” said Don Hall, director of the MEDWAY Drug Enforcement Agency.
The investigation is ongoing.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Cronin following an investigation by the DEA, Homeland Security Investigations and the Medway Drug Enforcement Agency, a drug task force serving Wayne County.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
A charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.