The Department of Justice on Thursday shut down two websites accused of selling fentanyl or a fentanyl precursor and filed federal drug trafficking charges against the owners.
Liangfu “Larry” Huang, 53, of Northbrook, Ill. and Wei Xu, 52, of Vernon Hills, Ill were arrested Wednesday in related cases, the Justice Department said.
Mr. Huang is charged with conspiracy to knowingly and intentionally possessing a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Ms. Xu faces one count of knowingly distributing a controlled substance.
Prosecutors said Mr. Huang was selling a precursor to fentanyl through ArkPharm, a website he controlled. Ms. Xu is alleged to have sold fentanyl itself through her site, 1717 CheMall.
The pair were said to have received shipments of the substances and other drugs, including crystal meth, from China, according to court documents. Border agents seized the packages which were shipped through FedEx and hidden in plastic goods such as children’s toys, the Justice Department said.
“Synthetic opioids killed 20,000 Americans in 2016 — more than any other kind of drug,” Attorney Jeff Sessions said in a statement announcing the arrests. “The vast majority of these drugs originate in China and then either shipped through the mail or smuggled across our porous Southwestern border.”
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