California fentanyl kingpin sentenced to nearly 25 years for moving pills in SD


SIOUX FALLS — A California man has been sentenced to nearly 25 years in federal prison for using the internet to distribute 100,000 fentanyl pills in South Dakota.

Damon Vincent Jobin, 35, was sentenced to 24 years and three months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for a conspiracy to distribute fentanyl analogue, the U.S. Attorney’s office for South Dakota said on Tuesday. He had pleaded guilty on June 24 in the case. U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier handed down the sentence in the case, which she called the largest of her career pertaining to fentanyl.

Jobin, of Huntington Beach, Calif., will also serve 20 years in prison, and three years of supervised release concurrent with the longer sentence for money laundering conspiracy. He was also ordered to pay a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $200.

Authorities say Jobin, who was indicted in 2018 and was taken into custody in June 2019 after fleeing to Thailand to evade prosecution in South Dakota, used the Dark Web to distribute the pills to South Dakota drug dealers either suspected or convicted of distributing the pills in Chamberlain, Mitchell, and Sioux Falls.

South Dakota law enforcement seized 20,000 pills from the U.S Mail, which tested positive for cyclopropyl fentanyl, a fentanyl analogue or derivative. An investigation revealed that Jobin manufactured and mailed approximately 200 packages containing over 2.6 million fentanyl pills to addresses in 32 different states. Jobin himself would press over 16,000 pills per hour at the height of the organization’s manufacturing.


Based on records kept by Jobin, the total weight of the pills he and other co-conspirators made and distributed exceeded 259 kilograms, or more than 570 pounds. Experts estimate that one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to produce approximately 1 million fatal doses. Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

“This defendant was selling millions of poisonous, home-pressed fentanyl pills to people all over the country,” said U.S. Attorney for South Dakota Ron Parsons in a statement. “He was caught because of some great police work done right here in South Dakota. This case demonstrates the dramatic, national impact that federal, state, and local law enforcement, working together, can have in getting these poisons off the streets. The detective work done by these law enforcement officers saved a lot of lives.”

Jobin and his co-conspirators also used online cryptocurrency exchanges to launder the funds derived from the sale of the cyclopropyl fentanyl on the Dark Web. Jobin was estimated to be making between $25,000 and $35,000 per week for his involvement in the conspiracy.

State and federal investigative units were involved in the case, as was the Chamberlain Police Department. Jobin was turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following sentencing.

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at
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