Federal officials in North Dakota say they've broken an international synthetic drug ring.
Daniel Vivas Ceron, 34, is accused of moving fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, and other synthetic drugs into the U.S. The Columbian national has been arrested in Panama and is awaiting extradition to the U.S., Acting U.S. Attorney Chris Myers said Tuesday.
"The indictment alleges Vivas Ceron operated a continuing criminal enterprise while imprisoned in Canada that moved fentanyl and other similar substances from Canada and China into the United States and those drugs resulted in serious bodily injury and death," Myers' office said in a statement. "If convicted, Vivas Ceron faces a maximum sentence of life in prison."
The investigation started in January after an 18-year-old Grand Forks, N.D., man died from a fentanyl overdose. Local law enforcement say there have been several fentanyl overdoses in the area in recent months.
Six North Dakota residents and three people from Oregon were also charged with distribution of drugs.