3 Chinese men indicted in international drug trafficking ring out of Montco

Kim Glovas
October 01, 2019 - 2:03 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Law enforcement from all levels of government have stopped an international drug trafficking operation after linking a Montgomery County man to the source in China. Three Chinese men have been indicted.

David Landis, a former Montgomery County deputy sheriff, was arrested early last year for operating a drug house and for distributing synthetic fentanyl to almost two dozen states, including Pennsylvania, and four nations. He pled guilty and awaits sentencing. 

"The reach was global spreading poison, misery and death far and wide," said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.

The charges against all of them include conspiracy to import synthetic fentanyl for distribution. 

"A search warrant at a residence in a Philadelphia suburb has culminated in the dismantling of an international drug trafficking organization that shipped dangerous drugs by the way of Pennsylvania and as far away as Japan, China and Switzerland," said Lieutenant Norman Cramer, with the Pennsylvania State Police Drug Law Enforcement Division.

Route of illegal drugs and opioids shipped from China to Montgomery County and beyond.
Kim Glovas/KYW Newsradio

U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain says Landis sent 29,000 packages, many with just a few grams of synthetic fentanyl.

Five people died within days of receiving the synthetic drugs from Landis. McSwain says that, while this operation was dismantled, others are still out there. 

"It doesn't even take four grams of fentanyl to kill you," McSwain said. "A quarter of a milligram of fentanyl has the possibility of causing a fatal overdose."

McSwain says his office has had some contact with China, but doesn't expect the three Chinese nationals to be prosecuted anytime soon. 

"We don't harbor any illusions that we expect these individuals to be in custody in the US any time soon."

He says this investigation is ongoing with law enforcement from every level of government involved. Landis is awaiting sentencing.