The Justice Department Friday announced the arrest of two individuals and the unsealing of three indictments in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York charging China-based companies and their employees with crimes related to fentanyl production, distribution, and sales resulting from precursor chemicals.
These indictments represent the first prosecutions to charge China-based chemical manufacturing companies and nationals of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for trafficking fentanyl precursor chemicals into the United States.
The allegations detail that Amarvel Biotech, a chemical manufacturer based in Wuhan, China, exported vast quantities of the precursor chemicals used to manufacture fentanyl and its analogues.
The Southern District indictment accuses Hubei Amarvel Biotech Co. Ltd. and its executives and employees of fentanyl trafficking, precursor chemical importation, and money laundering offenses.
Two separate indictments in the Eastern District of New York levy charges of knowingly supplying precursor chemicals to the United States and Mexico for fentanyl production. The also allege use of deceptive and fraudulent practices, such as mislabeling packages and falsifying customs forms, to evade detection.
U.S Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York stated, “As alleged, the defendants knowingly distributed the chemical building blocks of fentanyl to the United States and Mexico, even providing advice on how they should be used to manufacture this dangerous drug which inflicts untold tragedy in New York City, Long Island, and across the nation.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco called on Chinese officials for assistance, and noted that "the precursor sellers brazenly advertised on social media platforms."