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Department Of Justice Indicts And Arrests Chinese CEOs And Companies For Alleged Fentanyl Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice has announced that two individuals have been arrested and three indictments have been unsealed in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. The charges are related to fentanyl production, distribution, and sales resulting from precursor chemicals. The companies and their employees involved are based in China. The indictments are the initial legal actions to accuse chemical manufacturing companies based in China and individuals from the People's Republic of China of trafficking precursor chemicals for fentanyl into the United States. The indictments reportedly state that the defendants were involved in the production and distribution of precursor chemicals for fentanyl in the United States, which is a violation of federal law.

As part of the investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reportedly confiscated over 200 kilograms of precursor chemicals related to fentanyl. This amount of chemicals has the potential to cause fatal harm to millions of individuals.


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is known for its high potency. It is considered to be more potent than heroin and morphine. Fentanyl and its analogues are believed to have contributed to the ongoing overdose epidemic in the United States, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently estimated resulted in the deaths of approximately 106,000 Americans in 2022. Fentanyl has become a significant cause of mortality among individuals aged 18 to 49 in the United States. Analogues of fentanyl, which have a similar chemical composition and impact as fentanyl, may have even greater potency and lethality than fentanyl.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland stated that, in April, the Department of Justice had taken enforcement actions against the Sinaloa Cartel and promised to remember the victims of the fentanyl epidemic. He made a promise to continue working towards holding those responsible accountable. This involves pursuing individuals involved in the Cartels, such as their leaders, drug and gun traffickers, money launderers, security forces, and clandestine lab operators. It also involves preventing Chinese chemical companies from allegedly providing cartels with the necessary components to produce fentanyl, a lethal substance.

Moreover, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram stated that the charges are a significant advancement in the ongoing efforts to combat fentanyl, focusing on addressing the source of the problem. She further said that fentanyl has caused harm to families and communities in the United States, resulting in the deaths of individuals from various backgrounds and that the DEA will continue their efforts until the fentanyl crisis comes to an end.

The companies charged were as followed:

A chemical company based in China, Hubei Amarvel Biotech Co., was charged in an unsealed indictment in the Southern District of New York. AmarvelBio, also known as Amarvel Biotech, and its executives and employees, including Qingzhou Wang (also known as Bruce Wang), Yiyi Chen (also known as Chiron Chen), and Fnu Lnu (also known as Er Yang and Anita Yang), have been charged with offenses related to fentanyl trafficking, precursor chemical importation, and money laundering. On June 8, Wang and Chen, who are citizens of China, were allegedly deported from Fiji and subsequently detained by the DEA. They were later brought before a U.S. judge. On June 9, Magistrate Judge Wes Reber Porter presided over proceedings in a federal court in Honolulu. Wang and Chen were detained in Honolulu and will be appearing in Manhattan federal court after arriving in the Southern District of New York. Yang, who is also a citizen of China, is currently not in custody.

As per the indictment and court documents, Amarvel Biotech is a chemical manufacturing company located in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. It has been accused of exporting large amounts of precursor chemicals that are utilized in the production of fentanyl and its analogues.

Amarvel Biotech has reportedly advertised its shipment of precursor chemicals for fentanyl to the United States and Mexico online. Finished fentanyl is allegedly synthesized at scale in clandestine laboratories operated by drug cartels in Mexico, and then distributed into and throughout the United States. Amarvel Biotech has allegedly used various storefront sites and also its website to attract precursor chemical customers in Mexico. The company has reportedly advertised fentanyl precursors as a "Mexico hot sale," supposedly offered "100% stealth shipping" abroad, and allegedly shared documentation of shipping chemicals to Culiacan, Mexico, which is the supposed home city of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is one of the dominant drug trafficking groups in the Western Hemisphere and has been linked to the significant increase in fentanyl entering the United States in recent years.

Amarvel Biotech has reportedly attempted to prevent law enforcement from intercepting its precursor chemical shipments. They have also allegedly advertised their ability to use packaging that may be misleading, such as packaging that suggests the contents are dog food, nuts, or motor oil, to ensure safe delivery to the United States and Mexico.

During an eight-month undercover investigation by the DEA, it was allegedly found that Amarvel Biotech and its principal executive, Wang, marketing manager, Chen, and sales representative, Yang, shipped over 200 kilograms of precursor chemicals used in the production of fentanyl and its analogues from China to the United States. Amarvel Biotech, Wang, Chen, and Yang allegedly sent chemicals to the United States with the intention of producing fentanyl and its analogues in New York. They reportedly continued to supply fentanyl precursors despite being informed that Americans had died after consuming fentanyl made from the chemicals they sold.

On November 17, 2022, a DEA confidential source (CS-1) messaged Yang using an encrypted messaging application, stating that they were making fentanyl and that it was not safe. Yang replied with "I know." On December 1, 2022, Yang allegedly messaged CS-1, promising that they would be happy with the product and that they would be able to synthesize fentanyl. Amarvel Biotech then allegedly shipped fentanyl precursors and a methamphetamine precursor from China to New York in exchange for cryptocurrency payment.

In March 2023, Wang and Chen supposedly had a meeting with an individual who was represented by CS-1 as CS-1's boss. However, it was later discovered that the individual was actually another DEA confidential source (CS-2). During the meeting, Wang and Chen reportedly discussed Amarvel Biotech's potential to supply large quantities of fentanyl precursors to New York for the purpose of fentanyl manufacturing by CS-1 and CS-2. CS-2 allegedly expressed a desire for a new formula for producing fentanyl and mentioned that some of their American customers had reportedly passed away. Wang and Chen allegedly responded by stating that they had many customers in America and Mexico who could offer technical support for fentanyl manufacturing.

In March 2023, Amarvel Biotech, Wang, Chen, and Yang allegedly entered into an agreement to sell fentanyl precursors to CS-1 and CS-2. The payment for the transaction was reportedly made in cryptocurrency. During a video call on April 10, CS-2 mentioned to Wang and Chen that the fentanyl precursors weighing around 210 kilograms would be utilized to produce nearly 50 to 55 kilograms of fentanyl. This amount, as previously mentioned, could potentially have around 25 million lethal doses.

A shipment was allegedly sent to the United States in May 2023 by Amarvel Biotech, Wang, Chen, and Yang in response to an alleged order placed by CS-1 and CS-2. Around May 5th, the DEA recovered a precursor shipment from a warehouse located near Los Angeles. A precursor chemical for a fentanyl analogue was reportedly detected through lab testing. During a group chat on an encrypted messaging platform, Yang allegedly stated that due to recent strict precursor checks in New York, the decision was made to send the final product to California for safety reasons. The chat allegedly included CS-1, CS-2, Wang, and Chen.

In June 2023, Wang and Chen allegedly had a meeting with CS-2. During the meeting, Wang and Chen reportedly discussed a multi-ton order of fentanyl precursor chemicals with CS-2. Wang and Chen also reportedly discussed the importance of taking extra precautions to avoid detection and interception of their shipments, citing concerns about the actions of the American government. A Mexican group was seized and they were traced to China, where the United States is located. The government made a statement about a competitor in China, which seems to be related to charges filed in the Southern District of New York in April 2023. The charges were against leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel and some executives of precursor chemical companies based in China, related to fentanyl.

The case was investigated by the DEA's Special Operations Division Bilateral Investigations Unit, with support from various DEA offices including the Bangkok Country Office, Wellington Country Office, Beijing Country Office, Honolulu District Office, New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), Riverside District Office, and Special Testing Laboratory. The Justice Department's Office of International Affairs also provided assistance, along with the Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau, Fiji Police Force Narcotic Bureau, Fiji Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the U.S. District of Hawaii's Attorney's Office.

The case is being prosecuted by the National Security and International Narcotics Unit of the Southern District of New York's Office.

Now, in the Eastern District of New York, two indictments were unsealed that describe alleged criminal conspiracies by Chinese companies and employees to produce and distribute fentanyl in the United States.

An indictment has been issued against Anhui Rencheng Technology Co. (Rencheng) Ltd., Anhui Moker New Material Technology Co., Shutong Wang, and Shifang Ruan (also known as Eva). The charges include conspiracy to manufacture and distribute fentanyl, as well as the manufacture of fentanyl and other related offenses. The indictment accuses the defendants, including Xinyu Zhao (also known as Sarah) and Yue Gao (also known as Ellie), of concealing their activities unlawfully. This was allegedly done through customs fraud and introducing misbranded drugs into the U.S. market. The indictment charges Rencheng, Wang, and Ruan with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance called butonitazene.

The second indictment accuses Hefei GSK Trade Co. Hebei Gesuke Trading Co., also known as Ltd. The companies mentioned are Ltd. and Hebei Sinaloa Trading Co. Ltd. and Ruiqing Li are facing charges related to the production and distribution of fentanyl, as well as other offenses such as conspiracy to distribute a List I chemical, customs fraud conspiracy, introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, and distribution of metonitazene, a controlled substance.

According to U.S Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, the defendants are also accused of knowingly distributing the chemical components of fentanyl to the United States and Mexico. According to Peace, they also allegedly provided advice on how to use these components to produce the drug, which has caused harm in various parts of the country, including New York City and Long Island. Peace says this legal action demonstrates that companies and individuals involved in the opioid epidemic will be identified and prosecuted according to the law, regardless of their location.

According to the indictments, the defendant companies provided precursor chemicals to various locations, including the United States and Mexico, with the knowledge that they would be utilized in the production of fentanyl. The companies in question allegedly promoted their products globally, including in the United States and Mexico, through social media platforms. The company allegedly shipped their chemical products to the United States and Mexico through various modes of transportation, including boats and airplanes, and allegedly utilized both public and private international mail and package carriers. The defendant companies allegedly also used deceptive and fraudulent practices, including mislabeling packages, falsifying customs forms, and making false declarations at border crossings, in an attempt to avoid detection and interception of chemical products at the borders. The defendants also allegedly distributed chemicals that could be used to manufacture fentanyl through commonly known methods.

The companies in question also allegedly added "masking" molecules to fentanyl precursors in an attempt to obscure their distribution. These molecules are said to have slightly altered the chemical signature of the underlying precursor chemicals. Altering the chemical signature of a substance could potentially make it difficult to detect through testing protocols and regulatory measures, as it may appear to be a different substance. Masking molecules can be removed easily, allowing the substance to be reverted back to its original form as a fentanyl precursor. The companies in question allegedly produced and distributed masked precursors and provided instructions on how to remove the masking molecules, potentially aiding customers in obtaining banned precursors and producing fentanyl. The defendants allegedly provided guidance on enhancing fentanyl production and recommended alternative chemicals to replace prohibited precursor substances.

Drug trafficking organizations based in Mexico, such as the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), have been reportedly observed to use fentanyl precursors and masked fentanyl precursors produced and distributed by the defendant companies and similar entities. The defendant companies have allegedly supplied chemicals that have been used by drug trafficking organizations to produce fentanyl in secret labs in Mexico. The drug is then distributed in the United States and other places. The defendant companies and similar companies are accused of providing materials and instructions that have been linked to the increase of fentanyl in the United States.

The following agencies were involved in the indictment: DEA New York, DEA Mexico, DEA Diversion Control Division, DEA Special Testing and Research Laboratory, U.S. Customs and Border Protection New York Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation New York Division, and U.S. The case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service in New York. The case received assistance from the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, and the Justice Department's Office of International Affairs.

This case is being prosecuted by the International Narcotics and Money Laundering Section of the Eastern District of New York's Office.

These initiatives are a component of an OCDETF operation. The OCDETF program utilizes a multi-agency approach led by prosecutors and driven by intelligence to identify, disrupt, and dismantle criminal organizations that pose a threat to the United States. Information regarding the OCDETF Program is available at

An indictment is a formal accusation that has yet to be proven in court. Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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