WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) announced today the conviction of multiple drug traffickers in China for illicit fentanyl production and distribution. The convictions follow a concerted push by the U.S. officials, including Sen. Kennedy and drug czar Jim Carroll, for Chinese leaders to stop the flow of synthetic fentanyl and ingredients from China to the U.S.
“All it takes is an amount of fentanyl weighing less than a sprinkle of sugar to kill someone. Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues play an especially deadly role in U.S. opioid crisis,” said Sen. Kennedy. “We know China is part of the supply chain for this stuff, and we’ve been pushing China to do something about it. These convictions are extremely positive news in our battle to conquer opioid addiction. We are going to make families whole again.”
“The concrete action taken by China is a direct result of President Trump’s strong leadership on this issue, and the personal engagement by many members of Congress in communicating our entire government’s commitment to saving American lives. China’s fentanyl trafficking and production prosecution is a positive step in following through on the pledge secured by President Trump. We look forward to further cooperation to stop the flow of these deadly substances into the United States,” said Carroll, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Sen. Kennedy met with Premier Li Keqiang last year in Beijing to lobby for a crackdown on fentanyl production and trafficking. The drug often enters Mexico from China and then makes its way to the U.S.
Earlier this year, Sen. Kennedy filed the Ending the Fentanyl Crisis Act of 2019 to ensure that sentencing penalties for trafficking fentanyl reflect the deadliness of the drug. The bill reduces the amount of fentanyl that drug traffickers and dealers must be caught with in order for mandatory sentencing minimums to apply.
Sen. Kennedy has welcomed Director Carroll twice to Louisiana for visits addressing the opioid crisis. They sat down with area leaders who are on the front lines of the crisis and visited a treatment center.