Aug. 31—The U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of a Chinese national believed to be involved in an international fentanyl trafficking ring that has reached North Dakota.
Jian Zhang, also known as Hong Kong Zaron and identified as a fentanyl kingpin by the U.S. government, is considered a key leader of the Zhang Drug Trafficking Organization. According to a release from the U.S. Attorney for North Dakota, Zhang acted as the principal leader and organizer of the organization between 2013 and 2016, when the organization imported and distributed controlled substances and their analogues to the United States.
Zhang is wanted in connection to the overdose deaths of four Americans in North Dakota, Oregon, North Carolina and New Jersey, and the serious bodily injuries to five other Americans, according to the release.
Among those who died were Bailey Henke, a Grand Forks teen who fatally overdosed on fentanyl in January 2015.
Zhang was charged in North Dakota in September 2017 along with a number of Canadian nationals for charges including drug trafficking, trafficking of illicit drugs which led to the death or serious bodily injury of Americans, violations of the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute, and international money laundering. Several U.S. nationals have already been convicted and sentenced to penalties ranging from 20 years to life.
A reward is also being offered for information regarding Zhang's location. The monetary reward is being offered under the Department of State's Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, which has helped bring more than 75 transnational criminals and major narcotics traffickers to justice since 1986, according to the release.
To submit tips about Zhang's location, call +1-504-534-5134 on the phone or WhatsApp, or email ZhangJianTips@dea.gov.