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Man pleads guilty for ketamine drug conspiracy

A man who arranged the shipment of more than 10 kilograms of ketamine into the United States pleaded guilty this week in Federal Court in Oklahoma

Xiao Yang Zhang, 28, a Chinese citizen living illegally in the United States, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy.

As part of his plea agreement, Zhang admitted to participating in a plan to bring ketamine into the United States through international shipments. The ketamine was hidden in packages of retail goods so they would pass through U.S. Customs unnoticed.

Zhang rented two rooms in the Tulsa area for the purpose of receiving the drug from France and Italy. Zhang  transported the drug back to California for delivery to others.  Zhang took part in the drug conspiracy from October 2020 to July 2021.

While ketamine has accepted medical uses for short-term sedation and anesthesia, it is also illegally distributed for its hallucinogenic affects. It has also been used to facilitate sexual assault.

In 2016, Zhang was apprehended crossing the U.S. border from Mexico. He was released pending immigration hearings but failed to appear. He is known to have lived in Hawaii and California.

Zhang will be sentenced at a later date. As part of the plea agreement, Zhang will be deported following any term of imprisonment imposed by the Court.

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