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Four Alleged Cartel Members in New Jersey Charged with Sending Cryptocurrency to China for Fentanyl

Packets of fentanyl mostly in powder form and methamphetamine, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection say they seized from a truck crossing into Arizona from Mexico, is on display during a news conference at the Port of Nogales, Arizona, U.S., January 31, 2019. Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY
Packets of fentanyl mostly in powder form and methamphetamine, which U.S. Customs and Border Protection say they seized from a truck crossing into Arizona from Mexico, is on display during a news conference at the Port of Nogales, Arizona, U.S., January 31, 2019. Courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY

Four alleged cartel members were charged in connection with an international money laundering operation that involved sending funds to China to produce fentanyl.

The four New Jersey men, William Panzera, 49, Thomas Padovano, 48, Bartholomew Padovano, 71, and Sean Tighe, 46, were indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of New Jersey Wednesday, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The group allegedly sent digital currency to China in order to buy fentanyl analogues and what are known as “bath salts” to eventually be sold in the U.S., according to the DOJ. Funds were sent through a shell company Panzera allegedly created.

Law enforcement seized roughly 68 kilograms of 4-Fluoroisobutyrylfentanyl fentanyl, a fentanyl analogue, some of which was hidden in Newark, according to the DOJ. Two to three kilograms of narcotics were concealed and sent by mail to the group.

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