The way U.S. and Mexican authorities describe 44-year-old Zhenli Ye Gon, he might have sprung from some pulp novelist's overheated imagination.
Born in Shanghai, he lived in Mexico and ran a pharmaceuticals company -- a front, authorities allege, that supplied Mexican drug cartels with massive quantities of a chemical used to make the street drug methamphetamine. Police raided his luxurious Mexico City home in March, carting off what they said was $207 million, most of it in $100 bills that had been stashed behind false walls and in closets. The U.S. government called it "the largest single drug cash seizure the world has ever seen."
In recent years, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said, he gambled away nearly $126 million in Las Vegas casinos.
In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington in support of a drug charge against Ye Gon, federal authorities allege that, between December 2005 and August, his company, Unimed Pharm Chem de Mexico, illegally imported from overseas about 86 metric tons of restricted chemicals into Mexico "for the express purpose of manufacturing pseudoephedrine/ephedrine."
I wonder if that will slow the pace of meth in America?