Long Beach Drug-Ring Leader Who Made Thousands of Opioid Pills Using Illegal Drug From China Is Sentenced to 26 Years

Pictured are illegal substances and equipment imported from China, including various illegal drugs, that were part of a drug ring that operated in Long Beach and Baldwin Park. Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills were produced and distributed nationwide. This photo was released by the U.S. Department of Justice on July 10, 2018.

Pictured are illegal substances and equipment imported from China, including various illegal drugs, that were part of a drug ring that operated in Long Beach and Baldwin Park. Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills were produced and distributed nationwide. This photo was released by the U.S. Department of Justice on July 10, 2018.

The Long Beach man who led a drug ring that produced and distributed hundreds of thousands of opioid pills across the country — using a powerful, illegal Fentanyl-like drug imported from China — has been sentenced to 26 years in state prison, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Gary Resnik, 33, spearheaded the conspiracy to produce a mass amount of powerful counterfeit pills using a drug that’s illegal in the U.S., according to federal prosecutors.

That drug is acetylfentanyl, which is many times more potent than heroin and has a make-up similar to highly addictive fentanyl, prosecutors said. DEA agents seized more than 24 pounds of the powerful drug from a homemade lab in Long Beach.

Using the illegal drug from China, hundreds of thousands of pills were produced and designed to look like legitimate pharmaceutical opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin, federal prosecutors said. Those pills were also produced using ecstasy and alprazolam, or PVP.

The drug ring sold about 40,000 to 45,000 pills each month — priced $4 to $8 per pill — over a nine-month period between 2015 and 2016, prosecutors said.

The counterfeit drugs produced by Resnik and his co-conspirators contained “dangerous Chinese-made chemicals” that put lives at risk, U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said in a news release.

In order to produce the pills, he had bulk amounts of chemicals, drugs and pill presses imported from China, according to prosecutors. The pills were then made in homemade labs, including at a Long Beach storage unit and a house in Baldwin Park.

More than two dozen pounds of acetylfentanyl, along with large but unknown quantities of other illegal drugs, were found at the two locations. Authorities also seized thousands of opioid pills containing acetylfentanyl, along with alprazolam and ecstasy pills, from a man who had just bought the drugs from Resnik’s narcotics ring.

A co-defendant accused of also working the drug ring, 32-year-old Christopher Bowen of downtown L.A.,  was sentenced to 26 years and eight months in federal prison in May.

No further information was released by federal prosecutors.