The alleged drug trafficking ring is an example of fentanyl coming to the US from China, said US Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger of the Eastern District of Virginia.
At least one suspect ordered fentanyl from a vendor in Shanghai that was successfully mailed through US Postal Service to Newport News, Virginia, according to the indictment.
The alleged suspects range in age from 19 to 63 years old.
More than 120 law enforcement officers from 30 law enforcement agencies in Virginia, North Carolina and Texas executed the three-day targeted arrest operation dubbed Operation Cookout.
The suspects attempted to thwart law enforcement surveillance using Facebook, and encrypted communications apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp, according to the indictment.