Coast authorities help in international drug bust

As Mississippi continues to fight against a global epidemic with opiates, prescription pain killers, and heroin abuse, authorities on the Coast are helping crack an international drug trafficking case that all began with a regular traffic stop in Ocean Springs.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson brings us the details from a press conference in Gulfport today.
Opioid abuse is on the rise throughout Mississippi and authorities on a mission to stop it say that the Coast is “the killing ground” for all types of illegal narcotics.. Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy said, “We’ve had more overdose deaths in the six coastal counties this year than any other metropolitan area.”
Local authorities were at the front end of the nation’s first ever indictment of an international drug trafficking manufacturer in China. The indictment of 40-year-old Xiaobing Yan of China all began with a simple traffic stop in Ocean Springs back in 2013. The traffic stop triggered a nationwide investigation resulting in a seizure of fentanyl and other deadly opiate shipments coming from China. Gulfport Police Chief Leonard Papania said, “It’s all about team effort and a true concern from the national level down to our small little cities down on the Coast.”
The Chinese manufacturer distributed large shipments of fentanyl and other opiates through mail, individuals and internet sales, through a website customers from Harrison County and anywhere else around the nation could place orders. U.S. Attorney for Southern District of Mississippi Mike Hurst said, “That’s what makes this case so important. My children, your children can go on the internet and type fentanyl in and get to these websites.”
Local and state authorities made it clear although a major runner of an international drug trafficking organization is behind bars, their work is far from over. “They’re not going to stop when they get to the next traffic stop. It’s encouraging because we’ve got to get the source of these illegal drugs in order to stamp them out,” said Hurst.

Categories: Local News, News

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