Chinese Court Sentences Houston Man to Death in Drug Case

May 2, 2019 Updated: May 2, 2019

HOUSTON—A group of at least six foreigners who have been punished by a court in southern China for their alleged involvement in an international methamphetamine operation includes a Houston man who was sentenced to death.

The Jiangmen Intermediate People’s Court in Guangdong Province on April 30 sentenced 11 people who authorities say produced more than 139 pounds of meth.

The defendants include four Mexicans, a Canadian and an American identified as 44-year-old Mark Swidan.

Swidan’s mother, Katherine Swidan, told KTRK-TV in Houston that her son has been detained since his arrest in 2012.

The San Francisco-based Dui Hua Foundation, a humanitarian group that works with China on criminal justice and other matters, says a U.S. consulate official called Katherine Swidan to confirm the sentence.

Mark Swidan’s sentence was suspended for two years.

The foundation says prosecutors recommended he receive a lesser sentence.