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00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980000Day after day, week after week, the headlines in Northeast Ohio and across much of the country contain news of tragic loss: lives lost to opioids. It’s a problem that knows no bounds: geography, race, gender, level of education or income.The problem took on new urgency this summer as the powerful elephant sedative, Carfentanil, began hitting the streets. First responders armed with their only weapon, the overdose antidote Naloxone, have struggled to keep up with what’s become an overwhelming problem. It’s an issue that’s straining public and social resources. What has become clear is that business as usual is not going to fix the problem.WKSU news has been covering the unfolding crisis. Tuesdays during Morning Edition, the WKSU news team digs even deeper. WKSU reporters will examine what’s led us here and what might be done to turn the tide. Support for Opioids: Turning the Tide in the Crisis comes from Wayne Savings Community Bank, Kent State University Office of Continuing and Distance Education, Hometown Grocery Delivery, Mercy Medical Center, AxessPointe Community Health Center, Community Support Services, Inc., Medina County District Library and Hudson Community First.00000174-c556-d691-a376-cdd69e980001

Massachusetts Man Facing Charges of Channeling Fentanyl, Carfentanil From China to Ohio


A Chinese national is expected to arrive in Northeast Ohio this week to face federal charges that he imported and shipped large amounts of fentynal, carfentanil and other synthetic opioids to Ohio and elsewhere.  

The case against 42-year-old Bin Wang began a year ago, when investigators looking into fatal overdoses in Summit County started tracking Chinese websites. Undercover agents wired money to China, where labs allegedly shipped the drugs to Wang in Massachusetts, and he’s accused of mailing large quantities from his warehouse there.

Mike Tobin of the U.S. attorney’s office, says Wang shipped multiple kilograms here and across the country.

“A kilogram of any drug is a lot, but when we’re talking about carfentanil, which can kill someone with just a few specks, it’s a lot of drugs, its very valuable and its very dangerous and deadly.”

Tobin says agents who searched Wang’s suburban Boston warehouses and home had to wear hazmat suits. A message asking for comment at one of Wang’s companies, Cambridge Chemicals, was not returned.

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman has been pushing for passage of a bill that would electronically track shipments of opioids from overseas.

Tobin on attempts to track shipments

"We can't comment on legislation," Tobin said, "but anything that would make it easier for law enforcement to figure out what's coming into the country and who is sending it would help us as we try and wrestle with this problem."

M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.