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    China sentences 9 to jail for smuggling fentanyl to US

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    A Chinese court on Thursday jailed nine people, one with a suspended death sentence, for smuggling fentanyl into the United States, saying this was the first case the two countries had worked together on.

    China has faced US criticism for not taking any required measures to prevent the flow of fentanyl into the United States. Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid, 50 times more powerful than heroin.

    It is often used to make counterfeit narcotics because of its relatively cheap price and it has played an increasingly central role in an opioid crisis in the United States.

    The court in the northern city of Xingtai, in a statement given to reporters invited to cover the sentencing, said Chinese and US law enforcement had worked together to break up the ring, which smuggled fentanyl and other opioids to the United States via courier.

    One of the people sentenced by the court was given a suspended death sentence, which in practice is normally reduced to life in jail and two got life sentences.

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