A Chinese national who had been living in Massachusetts pleaded guilty to distributing opioids and other drugs that were shipped from China to the United States and ultimately to Ohio.
Bin Wang, 43, pleaded guilty to 10 counts, including drug conspiracy, conspiracy to import a controlled substance and drug distribution. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 13.
Wang 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 court documents.
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 court documents.
Beginning in November 2016, undercover agents began ordering opioids and other drugs from a Chinese drug trafficking organization. The agents wired money to China using Western Union or MoneyGram. Investigators learned the Chinese drug trafficking organization sent the drugs Wang in Massachusetts, who in turn mailed the drugs domestically, including to locations in Northeast Ohio, according to court documents.
Court documents detail numerous sales and shipments of drugs from China to Massachusetts to Ohio from November 2016 through July 2017.
“Wang was responsible for receiving shipments of deadly opioids and other drugs from China and then sending them to Ohio and throughout the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “We will continue to work with law enforcement to stop the steady stream of drugs from overseas that is killing our friends and neighbors.”
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 Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis. “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.
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.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking, money laundering and violent criminal organizations operating domestically and internationally. The principle mission of the OCDETF Program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering and violent criminal organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.