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China is running an operation to get Americans hooked on illegal drugs, former DEA boss warns

From a thriving fentanyl business with Mexican cartels, to connections in illegal marijuana busts across the nation, alarms are being raised about Beijing's fingerprints being found on the US drug addiction crisis.

Published: November 29, 2023 11:00pm

Police operations from California to Maine have busted Chinese nationals operating illegal marijuana growing sites. U.S. officials have clear evidence China is providing Mexican drug cartels the precursor chemicals to make the fentanyl flowing into America. The Drug Enforcement Administration has substantial evidence dating back a decade of Beijing’s role in flooding U.S. cities with a wide range of addictive and harmful drugs.

Experts say there is growing evidence that communist China has launched concerted operations to hook Americans on drugs as part of a larger effort to supplant the United States as the world's No. 1 superpower. Adding to the problem, the insecure border of the Biden era has only accelerated operations that have killed tens of thousands of Americans from fentanyl poisoning alone. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that drug overdose death rates involving fentanyl increased by 279% from 5.7 per 100,000 in 2016 to 21.6 in 2021.

“I'm just saying that from a strategic plan of the CCP, it's a brilliant concept that if we can get into America and sell this very pure marijuana and destroy Americans' brains, so then they go to pills and other drugs, that's a brilliant, unrestricted warfare,” former DEA Chief of Special Operations Derek Maltz Sr. told Just the News on Wednesday.

“When you look at the Chinese Communist Party. And you look at the role of China and their criminal networks in the overall drug crisis in America – because people are not connecting the dots – this is way bigger than just a bunch of, you know, illegally selling marijuana up in Maine. First of all, it's all over the country. It's not just Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington State, California. And, you know, all different states,” Maltz said during a wide-ranging interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

Evidence of Chinese drug manufacturing and trafficking is cropping up from coast to coast in the United States, some coming to light just this week.

Police in Wilton, Maine, conducted a raid on a sprawling 10,000-foot commercial complex Tuesday in what the Maine Wire reported was an “illegal Chinese marijuana operation” where $1 million in cannabis was seized. Four men of Asian descent were arrested.

A few months earlier in Carmel, Maine, police uncovered a major marijuana grow in a vacant house where they seized 3,400 plants and 111 pounds of pot, according to local TV station WABI. Authorities arrested a group of Chinese nationals in that raid.

In between those two high profile episodes, an unclassified memo leaked in July from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) alleges that authorities believe Chinese nationals are operating 270 properties used for illegal marijuana growing operations that could produce an estimated $4.37 billion in revenue. Authorities said at the time that operators were either Chinese nationals with resident status in the U.S. or asylum-seekers, both of which may prevent them from being deported.

Last Christmas, a joint law enforcement task force composed of various California state and municipal agencies seized nearly 9,000 pounds of cannabis worth almost $15 million during a raid on four homes in a suburban neighborhood in Antioch, Calif., that officials declared was tied to China.

Raids and arrests are cropping up all across the country. Such criminal activity, along with espionage and cyber hacking, was part of a stark warning that FBI Director Christopher Wray issued this fall about America’s No. 1 threat being Communist China.

“I’ve been very vocal since early in my tenure that there is no country—underline no country—that represents a broader, more severe counterintelligence threat to the United States than the People’s Republic of China,” Wray told an audience in September.

Concerns that Beijing was collaborating with Mexican drug cartels to flood American streets with synthetic opioids, ecstasy, marijuana and fentanyl dates back at least a decade and was formally researched by as early as 2016 inside the DEA, memos show. Most of the activity is coordinated by Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) in Asia.

“Asian TCOs partner with and recruit Asian-Americans, blending into existing immigrant communities, to exploit U.S. drug markets,” the DEA warned in a 2016 memo. “These groups are particularly adept at expanding in communities in California where growth in the number of Asian immigrants has been the greatest. Asian TCOs occasionally travel outside of established territories, even across state lines, to conduct operations."

In his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, President Joe Biden signed a deal that committed China to reducing its country’s role in supply the ingredients for fentanyl. But experts warn China has made commitments like that before without complying.

Former DEA Chief of Special Operations Maltz said while TCOs are the key day-to-day players, he has little doubt that the Chinese government and its communist party have authorized such activities as part of a broader effort to destabilize America.

“All over America every day, Chinese nationals are picking up large sums of cash from the Mexican cartel operatives, all over the country. And the cash is being turned over to Chinese businessmen who are using the cash to launder money for the cartels seamlessly, and they use that to buy real estate property, invest in different operations like these grow operations. So it's a disaster at many levels, and it's well beyond the drug crisis,” Maltz warned.

“There was no doubt in my mind and speaking to experts who work in China, they said that nothing goes on without the CCPs approval,” he added.