Illegal Drug Trade in US a ‘Huge Problem’ Linked to China, Oklahoma Official Says


The illegal drug trade in the United States has a significant problem on its hands, according to law enforcement authorities, and that problem is China. Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Director Donnie Anderson describes the issue as a “huge problem” that has been plaguing the state since at least 2019.

Anderson says that Chinese criminal organizations are laundering money for drug cartels, and they are exceptionally skilled at it. He notes that associates of the Sinaloa drug cartel have conspired with a Chinese underground banking network to move millions of dollars in drug proceeds from the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine.

In a recent operation, federal officials announced charges against 24 individuals for their involvement in a money laundering network linked to the Sinaloa cartel and a California-based money transmitting group with ties to Chinese underground banking. The network allegedly collected drug trafficking funds and processed them as U.S. currency.

Oklahoma law enforcement is also dealing with a surge in illegal marijuana grow houses, many of which are allegedly backed by Chinese individuals. Authorities claim to be shutting down an average of 15 of these unlawful grow houses every day, with the Chinese growers entering the country through the southern U.S.-Mexico border and then traveling to Oklahoma to work at the black market grow houses.

Anderson believes that China is aware of the illegal drug trade and is involved in negotiations to improve the situation. However, he emphasizes that China must take responsibility for its role in the illegal drug trade and work to stop it. “China controls everything that comes out of their country,” Anderson said. “We would be naive to say the government isn’t aware of what’s going on.”

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