CLEVELAND, Ohio — The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday announced Chinese nationals indicted on drug charges in an Ohio federal court will be sanctioned as part of an effort to crack down on the amount of fentanyl being shipped into the U.S.
Fujing Zheng, of Shanghai, and his drug trafficking organization were identified as significant traffickers as part of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Kingpin Act. Also sanctioned were his father, Guanghua Zheng, and Qinsheng Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., which is controlled by Fujing Zheng, according to a news release.
The designation blocks the Zhengs’ interest in property in the United States, and bars U.S. residents from any dealings with that property.
Fujing and Guanghua Zheng were indicted in federal court in Cleveland in August 2018. They remain at large in China, authorities said.
They are charged with running a large operation that manufactured and shipped fentanyl analogues and 250 other drugs to 25 countries and 37 U.S. states. Customers contacted them online, and many of the orders were placed via email.
Federal prosecutors in Ohio worked on the case because investigators linked the Zheng operation’s drugs to the overdose deaths of Thomas Rauh and Carrie Dobbins in Akron. Ohio residents were convicted in both deaths, and a Massachusetts chemist was sentenced to prison for acting as a middleman for shipments coming into the U.S. from China.
Also sanctioned Wednesday was Xiaobing Yan, a man indicted on drug charges in federal court in Mississippi in 2017. He also remains at large.
The efforts come as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks to crack down on the large amount of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids from China being shipped into the U.S. It also comes as the U.S. continues a trade war with China.
“The Chinese kingpins that (the Treasury Department) designated today run an international drug trafficking operation that manufactures and sells lethal narcotics, directly contributing to the crisis of opioid addiction, overdoses, and death in the United States,” Sigal Mandelker, under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a news release.