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Chinese Businessman Pleads Guilty of Importing Opioids

FILE - OxyContin pills, an opioid drug, are seen at a U.S. pharmacy, Feb. 19, 2013.

A Chinese businessman pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court Tuesday of importing and distributing opioids.

Bin Wang operated several companies from a warehouse outside Boston.

Federal agents began their investigation in 2016 after a number of fatal opioid overdoses occurred in northeastern Ohio.

Undercover agents ordered the drugs through Chinese websites and discovered that the seller in China was sending the opioids to Wang, who mailed them to customers in Ohio.

Prosecutors say opioids purchased through one of the Chinese websites are responsible for two deaths in Ohio in 2015.

"The importation of opioids and other synthetic drugs from China has played a significant role in America's current drug use epidemic," drug enforcement agent Timothy Plancon said. "Over 60,000 people a year die from drug overdoses in this country, and halting all methods of drug trafficking, including by way of the internet, is a top priority of the DEA."

Wang will be sentenced November 13.