China sentences nine to jail for smuggling fentanyl to U.S.

XINGTAI, China (Reuters) - A Chinese court in the northern city of Xingtai on Thursday sentenced nine people to jail, including one suspended death sentence, for smuggling fentanyl into the United States.

Details of the case were provided to reporters invited to the sentencing.

Fentanyl is a highly addictive synthetic opioid, 50 times more potent than heroin and often used to make counterfeit narcotics because of its relatively cheaper price and can easily be used to counterfeit other more expensive drugs.

It has played an increasingly central role in an opioid crisis in the United States.

(Reporting by Huizhong Wu; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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