Crime

A major fentanyl investigation began with a routine traffic stop, U.S. attorney says

U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst speaks at a news conference on fentanyl, opioid deaths and a major indictment in Gulfport on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst speaks at a news conference on fentanyl, opioid deaths and a major indictment in Gulfport on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. rfitzgerald@sunherald.com

An Ocean Springs traffic stop and a Gulfport police officer’s task force work led to the nation’s first ever indictment of an international drug trafficking manufacturer in China, a federal official said Thursday.

The investigation and indictment of Xiaobing Yan, 40, of China, has led to fentanyl investigations in nine other judicial districts nationwide, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst Jr. of the Southern District of Mississippi said in a news conference in Gulfport.

The traffic stop occurred in 2013 and led to the seizure of spice and fentanyl later found to have been shipped from China through online orders, Hurst said.

Yan shipped fentanyl and fentanyl analogues to Harrison County seven times, the indictment said.

The shipments were to Harrison County residents who ordered the dangerous drugs from Yan’s website and to investigators, a federal agent said. Investigation showed the drugs were shipped elsewhere as well.

The indictment comes at a time that opioid deaths are dramatically rising, Hurst said.

The news conference was held at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Gulfport.

SunHerald.com is working on an updated report.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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