China Smuggling Case Illustrates the Role Canada Plays Bringing Fentanyl into United States

The recent indictment of six Canadians demonstrates the role Canada played as part of a larger international fentanyl smuggling ring that shipped fentanyl compounds to the United States, the Globe and Mail reports. “The latest charges unsealed this week reveal Canada as a transit point for the synthetic opioid.”

According to the Globe and Mail, two Canadian residents, Daniel Vivas Ceron and Jason Joey Berry, allegedly led a Canadian operation that pressed and shipped counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl and fentanyl analogues to U.S. customers.  Vivas Ceron and Berry allegedly ran their smuggling ring from behind bars.

At the time of his indictment, Vivas Ceron had just been paroled from the Drummond Institution, a medium-security Quebec jail. Vice News reports that Vivas Ceron had served time for attempted murder, and was extradited en route to his native Columbia.

The Globe and Mail states that Berry is in the same jail, serving time for running a fentanyl pill distribution ring. He was originally arrested for attempting to ship a microwave and toaster packed with 10,000 fentanyl pills, and had stockpiled  "hundreds of thousands of pills in various storage units along with pill presses capable of churning out thousands of pills an hour," reports the Globe and Mail.

According to the National Post, the current fentanyl smuggling ring worked in concert with chemical plants in China that produced the fentanyl and fentanyl analogues. Two Chinese nationals, Xiaobing Yan and Jian Zhang, have also been indicted for the fentanyl smuggling conspiracy.

The National Post identifies four other Canadians, all from Quebec, who allegedly played a role in shipping the fentanyl counterfeits to the United States: Xuan Cahn Nguyen, 38; Marie Um, 37; Vannek Um, 39; and Linda Van, 25.