Two Russian Nationals Charged in Separate Indictments with Fraud and Other Offenses Related to Hacking Campaigns
NEWARK, N.J. – A Chinese national who has held high-level executive positions at chemical and pharmaceutical companies in China has been arrested and charged with drug and money laundering offenses, including the importation of fentanyl analogues, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Hao Qin, a/k/a “John Chin,” 32, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to import controlled substance analogues and one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering. The defendant was arrested late yesterday after landing at Los Angeles International Airport and will have his initial appearance today before U.S. District Judge Jean Rosenbluth in the Central District of California.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration received information from a cooperating witness that Qin and others were involved in the distribution of controlled substances and controlled substance analogues used to manufacture synthetic cannabinoids for human consumption. They were also aware that Qin and others were laundering their illegal proceeds.
During the time of the conspiracy, Qin was a high-level executive for pharmaceutical and chemical companies. He was allegedly responsible for importing more than 500 kilograms of controlled substance analogues into the United States. Among the substances imported by Qin and his conspirators through Qin’s chemical business were furanyl fentanyl and 4-FIBF, two potent analogues of the opioid drug fentanyl.
Qin is also charged with laundering the proceeds of his international drug business, including accepting wire payments designed to pay off a drug debt of more than $500,000 incurred by one of Chin’s former clients in the United States.
The count of conspiracy to import controlled substance analogues is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, and the count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000.
This case is being conducted under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents with the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Susan A. Gibson in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges. The investigation was supported and coordinated by the Department of Justice’s multi-agency Special Operations Division.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Wangenheim of the Office’s Cyber Crimes Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sammi Malek of the Office’s Economic Crimes Unit, and Erica Liu, Chief of the Office’s Opioids Unit.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.