National Security

U.S. Sanctions Chinese Firm, Traffickers for Fentanyl Imports

Getty Images

The Department of the Treasury announced sanctions on four individuals and one company for their engagement in the fentanyl trafficking industry, Reuters reported Friday.

The department announced the sanctioned individuals are Songyan Ji, Longbao Zhang, Guifeng Cheng, and Guangfu Zheng, while the company is called Global United Biotechnology Inc. Owned by drug trafficker Fujing Zheng and the Zheng Drug Trafficking Organization (DTO), the biotech company's proprietors fell in violation of the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act for drug trafficking last August.

Global United Biotechnology was deemed  "a virtual storefront for the Zheng DTO," according to the Treasury Department. Under the new designation, all the company's property and the property of the sanctioned individuals in the United States must be "blocked and reported" to the department.

China is the top trafficker of fentanyl to the United States, the Washington Free Beacon reported last year. In 2018 alone, the deadly drug and its analogs led to at least 30,000 overdose deaths. The drug is 80 times more powerful than morphine.

"Fentanyl and other drugs have caused overwhelming devastation to communities across America," said Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich. "The United States is committed to holding drug traffickers and those who facilitate their operations accountable for the suffering they impose upon American families."