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Missouri’s Fentanyl Problem: The China Connection
In early 2020, when the Chinese government shut down activity in and around Wuhan due to the COVID-19 virus, the illicit opioid supply chain was disrupted. Yet the communists acted quickly to promote economic recovery. A South Central Drug Task Force officer found that “heroin/fentanyl continue to be available in the area for roughly the same prices.”
Mexican cartels are middleman to Chinese chemical companies
Last year, the Chinese government cracked down on direct shipments of fentanyl to American buyers. Chinese chemical companies quickly adapted by selling their product to “middle man” drug cartels in Mexico.
Once they got into the fentanyl trade, Mexican cartels used their existing drug routes and street markets in Western cities to push the new product. Their motives are simple: Fentanyl is deadly, but it’s also cheap and easy to make and ship. It’s also highly addictive, making it far more profitable than heroin or cocaine.
Truly Terrifying: Chinese Suppliers Flood US with Deadly Fentanyl
“We have seen an influx of fentanyl directly from China,” said Carole Rendon, the acting US attorney for the northern district of Ohio in Cleveland. “It’s being shipped by carrier. It’s hugely concerning because fentanyl is so incredibly deadly.”
The China connection is allowing local drug dealers in North America to mass produce fentanyl in pill form, in some cases producing tablets that look identical to an oft-abused version of the prescription painkiller OxyContin. It also has been added to Xanax pills. And last week, fentanyl pills made to resemble the painkiller hydrocodone were blamed for a wave of overdoses in the Sacramento area, including nine deaths.