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Sioux Falls man sentenced to 35 years in prison for selling fentanyl that killed two

According to the DEA's Facts about Fentanyl webpage, a dose as small as 2 milligrams can be fatal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says a two milligram dose of fentanyl — the amount pictured on the end of this pencil — can be lethal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
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SIOUX FALLS — A Sioux Falls man will spend more than three decades in federal prison after selling fentanyl in 2018 and 2019 that resulted in the deaths of two individuals.

Jeffery Darnell Moore, 53, of Sioux Falls, was sentenced to 35 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution was also ordered.

The sentencing came Aug. 10, nearly three months after he was convicted in a jury trial of two counts of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.

The charges stem from November 2018, when Moore knowingly and intentionally distributed fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance, and the distribution of the opioid resulted in the death of an individual.

Then, in June 2019, Moore again knowingly and intentionally distributed fentanyl that resulted in the death of a second individual.


Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) considers to be 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Originally developed for use via skin patches to treat severe pain in cancer patients, its properties have led it to become common for use in heroin distribution.

The DEA says fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency or to be disguised as highly potent heroin. Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl, often resulting in overdose deaths.

It doesn't take much fentanyl to overdose either. According to the DEA's Facts about Fentanyl webpage, a dose as small as two milligrams can be fatal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage.

Moore was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on the charges in July 2020, after the case was investigated by the Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force, DEA and Homeland Security Investigations.

Following his sentencing, Moore was immediately remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Other Crime and Courts stories involving fentanyl...
Prosecutors say the pair were purchasing opioids, oxycodone and fentanyl online and also mailing drugs through an elaborate process.
According to the DEA, as little as two milligrams could be a lethal dose. The group's alleged conspiracy could have been enough to kill as many as 20,000 people.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021. After over a year in Mitchell, he moved to Milwaukee, where he now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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