Biden hits China, Mexico with sanctions for counterfeit, fentanyl-laced pill production

FIRST ON FOX: The Biden administration on Tuesday sanctioned more than a dozen people and entities in China and Mexico that are linked to the production and distribution of counterfeit and fentanyl-laced pills. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control Tuesday morning sanctioned 17 people and entities that are directly or indirectly involved in the sale of pill press machines, die molds and other equipment used to impress counterfeit trade markings onto illicitly produced pills that are often laced with fentanyl. The action was taken in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The designations target seven entities and six people based in China, and one entity and three people based in Mexico. ‘PERMISSION SLIP TO CARTELS’: FENTANYL OVERDOSES ARE SURGING, SO WHAT IS CONGRESS DOING TO HELP? Treasury designated Chinese pill press supplier Youli Technology Development Co., Ltd., along with three Youli-affiliated Chinese nationals — Guo Chunyan, Guo Yunnian, and Guo Ruiguan. Treasury also designated Yason General Machinery Co., Ltd., Yason Electronics Technology Co., Limited and Shenzen Yason General Machinery Co., Ltd., Nanchang Branch; and online-based Tdpmolds. In Mexico, the sanctions target Mexpacking Solutions, which is controlled by a Sinaloa Cartel, was also sanctioned, along with three related people. The sanctioned people include pill press suppliers who have shipped pill press machinery into the United States and have been involved in the manufacturing of counterfeit pills. According to the Treasury Department, that machinery has been shipped using techniques intended to evade U.S. law enforcement scrutiny. Some people have supplied pill presses and dies to drug traffickers operating directly in the United States, including those involved with the production of fentanyl-laced pills. A pill press is a mechanical device that compresses powdered substances into tablets of uniform size and weight. The U.S. government regulates pill press machine importation. Officials said the lack of controls and safeguards in illicit pill production “often results in inconsistent and lethal dosages.” FENTANYL FUELS STRING OF DEADLY WEEKEND OVERDOSES IN PORTLAND, OREGON “Manufacturing illicit drugs in pill form requires a pill press machine, a controlled substance, and die molds — metallic pill press components bearing impressions that are punched onto pills,” the Treasury Department explained. “A die is fixed to a pill press machine in order to punch repeated impressions during pill mass production.” Treasury said if the impressions on a die on the pills it punches mimics trademarked pharmaceuticals, the die and impressed pills are counterfeit. Officials said the action is part of a “whole-of-government effort” to counter the global threat posed by the trafficking of illicit drugs into the United States. A Treasury Department official told Fox News Digital the move should serve as a warning to all at any stage of the supply chain: “Wherever you are, we’re coming.” MORE FENTANYL BEING TRAFFICKED TO THE NORTHWEST ON INTERSTATE 5: ‘WE ARE SEEING A TREND’ “Treasury’s sanctions target every stage of the deadly supply chain fueling the surge in fentanyl poisonings and deaths across the country,” Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement. “Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl constitute a leading cause of these deaths, devastating thousands of American families each year.” CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP Nelson said the Biden administration remains “committed to using all authorities against enablers of illicit drug production to disrupt this deadly global production and counter the threat posed by these drugs.” In addition to sanctions, the Treasury Department has a team that focused on the policy to counter money laundering related to drug trafficking and fentanyl production.
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