$5 million reward for capture of Chinese trafficker linked to death in North Dakota
FARGO (KVRR) – The State Department is offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of a People’s Republic of China national who’s been linked to overdose deaths in North Dakota, Oregon, North Carolina, and New Jersey.
Federal prosecutors say Jian Zhang is a key leader of the transnational criminal Zhang Drug Trafficking Organization.
Between 2013 and 2016, Zhang’s criminal organization imported and distributed controlled substances into the United States that led to the overdose deaths of four Americans in North Dakota, Oregon, North Carolina, and New Jersey and serious bodily injuries to five
The investigation began when 18-year-old Bailey Henke was found dead inside a Grand Forks apartment building in January 2015.
Zhang was charged in North Dakota in September 2017 along with several other Canadian nationals. A superseding indictment was returned in January 2018 adding additional PRC nationals. Several U.S. nationals were convicted and sentenced to penalties ranging from 20 years to life in prison.
Charges included drug trafficking, trafficking of illicit drugs which led to death and/or serious bodily injury of Americans, violations of the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute, and international money laundering.
The reward comes from the State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program. So far, the department has paid more than $135 million in rewards.