Na Chu, 37; Yeyou Chu, 36; Cuiying Liu, 62; and Keping Zhang, 62, all Chinese nationals, were charged by a superseding indictment returned on Jan. 18, with international money laundering conspiracy, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, U.S. Attorney Christopher C. Myers for the District of North Dakota and Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced.
The charges come as part of “Operation Denial,” an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into the international trafficking of fentanyl and other lethal drugs, and was significantly aided by the national and international coordination led by the multi-agency Special Operations Division (S.O.D.) near Washington D.C. as part of “Operation Deadly Merchant.” The investigation started in North Dakota on Jan. 3, 2015, with the overdose death in Grand Forks of 18-year-old Bailey Henke.
“Fentanyl and its analogues killed more Americans than any other drug in 2016, and the vast majority of it comes from China,” said Attorney General Sessions. “The defendants in this case allegedly trafficked fentanyl from China to 11 states from coast to coast. As a result, Americans died in at least three states. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in North Dakota and Oregon, the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section, DEA, HSI, the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and dozens more law enforcement officers across the United States and Canada who helped make these indictments possible.”
“Today’s indictments are a step toward dismantling an alleged international fentanyl trafficking operation and eventually ending this nation’s unprecedented drug crisis.”