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Chemist pleads guilty to acting as middleman for synthetic drugs shipped from China

August 6, 2018

Chemist pleads guilty to acting as middleman for synthetic drugs shipped from China

AKRON, Ohio — A Massachusetts chemist pleaded guilty Monday to federal drug charges that authorities say stemmed from him receiving shipments of synthetic opioids and other drugs from China to then send to drug users and dealers in Ohio and the United States.

Bin Wang, a Canadian citizen and native of China, was part of an operation where people ordered drugs on a series of foreign websites, officials say. The drugs were shipped to Wang, who worked in the Boston suburbs. Wang then shipped packages domestically.

Wang, 43, was arrested in 2017 before boarding a plane to Toronto.

He pleaded guilty to 10 counts, including charges of conspiracy, distribution of synthetic drugs and use of a communication facility for drug dealing. Prosecutors and Wang have entered into a plea agreement in which both sides agreed to seek a prison sentence of between 57 and 71 months.

Wang’s agreement says he agreed to allow the destruction of lab equipment and items that Drug Enforcement Administration agents found at his home and his warehouse. He also agreed to forfeit an unspecified amount of money.

U.S. District Judge John Adams will sentence Wang on Nov 13.

Wang is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service. He appeared at Monday’s hearing in an orange jail jumpsuit, with a shackle around his waist that restrained his arms.

Prior to the hearing, Adams held a meeting between Wang, his attorney Mark DeVan and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cronin in a conference room. Upon his return, Wang answered Adams’ questions as he affirmed that he wanted to admit to the charges in lieu of taking his case to trial.

He acknowledged that he understood that his convictions could lead to his deportation.

Wang also acknowledged that he and the government are seeking a lower sentence than what federal law may require.

The agreement to what is known as a “safety valve” means the case and defendant must meet certain requirements, including that Wang has provided investigators all information he has about the offenses in his schemes.

Federal prosecutors say Wang worked with a man in China named Gordon Jin to bring drugs into the United States.

Jin was linked to shipments that Wang received in Massachusetts, the DEA says.

Local and federal investigators pursued Wang and Jin after prosecutors charged Akron couple Leroy Steele and Sabrina Robinson in relation to the death of Thomas Rauh, according to a story published in August 2017 by cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer.

Steele, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence, purchased the fentanyl he sold from China and later showed authorities how he purchased the drugs online, according to federal officials.

From there, authorities found Jin, who communicated online with undercover federal investigators inquiring about buying synthetic drugs, and Wang, officials said.

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