Two men from China were indicted for distributing fentanyl on the Dark Web in large quantities. The pair of men in question, Xiaobing Yan, 40, and Jian Zhang, 38, were found to be selling fentanyl on Dark Web marketplaces to customers in several countries including Canada and the United States. During the investigation, authorities found that the two men were also operating four drug labs to create the illegal drug.
Police have connected their activities to numerous customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. They have also linked their operation to a few instances of buyers overdosing on their fentanyl including some fatal incidents.
The U.S. Department of Justice has continued to work with the Chinese government to investigate the pair even further. Due to no extradition treaty existing between the two countries, no one knows whether the pair will actually be sent to the U.S. to be tried for their crimes.
The initial investigation started in 2015 after a teen, Bailey Henke, 18, of North Dakota, overdosed on fentanyl and passed away. While investigating her death, authorities discovered who she had purchased the drug from and followed the trail backwards. This is when law enforcement found out that the drugs were coming from Yan and Zhang’s drug labs in China.
The investigation in ongoing but the U.S. Department of Justice is calling for more cooperation from the Chinese government so that they can make the pair answer for their deadly crimes.
Yan and Zhang have been said to have been running their illegal operation for at least 6 years and are connected to several fatalities via overdose. The importance of bringing them to justice is off the charts and law enforcement is confident the Chinese government will eventually cooperate on their extradition.