Chinese Citizen Charged with Massive Anabolic Steroid and Fentanyl Precursor Chemical Distribution Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas has filed federal charges against one of the world’s largest alleged anabolic steroid producers, U.S. Attorney Chad E. Meacham announced today.
Chuen Fat Yip, a 68-year-old citizen of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) also known as Ye Chuan Fa, was charged in September 2018 with five drug crimes, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute anabolic steroids, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl precursor, conspiracy to import anabolic steroids, and manufacturing anabolic steroids and fentanyl precursor with the knowledge that they will be unlawfully imported. The indictment against Yip and two coconspirators was unsealed on March 11, 2021. On Nov. 18, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office obtained a seizure warrant for more than 49.1 bitcoin – currently worth approximately $2.3 million – from a crypto wallet that traced back to Yip.
“We cannot allow foreign nationals to flood the United States with dangerous drugs,” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham. “This defendant allegedly made millions manufacturing and distributing anabolic steroids and fentanyl precursors to American customers. The Justice Department will pursue drug defendants to the furthest reaches of the globe if that’s what it takes to stem the tide of the drug epidemic.”
“Transnational criminal organizations seek to threaten our health and safety by importing dangerous drugs and chemicals, such as fentanyl. DEA’s mission to seek justice must be worldwide when combatting this threat,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge, Eduardo A. Chávez. “The YC Group allegedly utilized global logistics for personal gain while profiting from those individuals vulnerable to the dangers of drug abuse. Mr. Yip’s alleged criminal activities have caught up with him and DEA Fort Worth will use every tool, every law enforcement partner, and every community resource to ensure he and his conspirators are held accountable.”
According to court documents, Yip – who is believed to reside in Wuhan City, Hubei Provence, PRC – allegedly owned and operated the Yuancheng (YC) Group, a chemical manufacturing company responsible for producing and distributing approximately $280 million worth of anabolic steroids, including $55 million worth of anabolic steroids shipped to the United States over a five-year period.
The YC Group allegedly advertised the sale of illegal controlled substances at trade shows and on a variety of websites, including sellsteroids.com, steroidsmart.com, and pharmade.com. In October 2015, Yip allegedly attended a trade show in the United States, bringing his company vice president and a sales manager with him. His underlings allegedly met with customers and negotiated transactions involving more than 100 kilograms. During those meetings, they acknowledged the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s efforts to stem the flow of anabolic steroids and outlined steps the customers needed to avoid detection.
Following production of the steroids and other controlled substances, the YC Group allegedly shipped the contraband out of Shanghai or Hong Kong to locations around the globe, including 84 foreign counties and all 50 U.S. states. They shipped parcels weighing less than 50 kilograms via commercial air carries, including the U.S. Postal Service, and used cargo vessels to transport shipments weighing more than 50 kilograms. Shipments were typically disguised in packaging intended to resemble other products, such as food.
On one occasion, the YC Group allegedly agreed to ship approximately 24 kilograms of 4-ANPP, a precursor for fentanyl, from the PRC to the United States. The conspirators also allegedly agreed that the precursor would then be smuggled from the United States to Mexico, where it would be combined with other chemicals to produce fentanyl, then smuggled back into the United States, where it would be distributed to dealers and end-users.
The U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Chuen Fat Yip, aka “Chuan Fa Ye,” or for information leading to the disruption of financial mechanisms of Yip’s alleged transnational organized crime group, the Yuancheng (YC) Group. If you have information, please contact the DEA at +1-972-591-1326 via text/WhatsApp/Telegram/ Signal, or by email at ChuenFatYipTIPS@dea.gov. If in the United States, please contact the local DEA office in your city.
The DEA’s Dallas Field Division - Fort Worth District Office conducted the investigation. Essential support and coordination was provided by the Department of Justice’s multi-agency Special Operations Division in coordination with DEA’s Denver Field Division, Cyber Support Section, and Near East Region, including assigned attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs and the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section’s Digital Currency Initiative provided assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated December 17, 2021