CHINA: DRUG GANG MEMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
April 19, 2012: A court in China's southwestern Chongqing municipality has sentenced seven people to death and five to jail for making and selling methamphetamine.
The 12-member drug gang stood trial after converting a truck into a lab where they turned ephedrine, a chemical widely used to treat asthma and bronchitis, into meth.
They drove the vehicle around Chongqing and sold the homemade drugs in 2009 before Wu Ya, head of the gang, was detained after a road check by police on April 18, 2009, according to a statement issued by No. 3 Intermediate People's Court.
The other members continued the dealing till they were caught by police later that year. The group made and sold over 150 kg of meth between early 2009 and June 2009, the court said.
Wu, a 43-year-old ex-con who had been sentenced to over 19 years in jail for theft and illegally holding drugs, and three other members of the gang were given death penalties.
Another three people, including two college graduates who majored in chemistry, were also sentenced to death, but with a two-year reprieve.
The other five members of the gang were given jail terms ranging from 10 years to life. (Sources: Xinhua, 20/04/2012)