Justice Department Indicts 2 Chinese Nationals In Synthetic Opioid Case

NPR – The Justice Department said Tuesday that it has indicted two Chinese nationals suspected of manufacturing and then distributing in the U.S. a synthetic opioid that officials say kills thousands of Americans every year.

The two suspects, Xiaobing Yan and Jian Zhang, face a raft of charges, including conspiracy to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and drugs with a similar chemical makeup in the U.S. through the mail or international delivery services.

Fentanyl is roughly 50 times more powerful than heroin, and it has become a significant factor in the opioid crisis ravaging the United States. In 2016 alone, some 20,000 Americans died because of fentanyl overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drug is also a legal prescription painkiller.

Read more at NPR.

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Billboard at bus stop about dangers of fentanyl
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Jeff Anderson, CC BY 2.0