California man charged in fentanyl distribution, money laundering conspiracy

USCBP / MGN

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A 34-year-old man has been charged for his role in a large scale opioid distribution conspiracy involving the shipment of approximately 100,000 fentanyl pills to South Dakota.

Damon Vincent Jobin, of Huntington Beach, California, was indicted in 2018 by a federal grand jury in South Dakota for conspiracy to distribute over 100 grams of a fentanyl analogue and money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Jobin, along with other co-conspirators, utilized the Dark Web to distribute approximately 100,000 pills that contained fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue in 2017 to individuals either suspected or convicted of distributing the pills in Chamberlain, Mitchell, and Sioux Falls.

Twenty thousand of these pills were seized by South Dakota law enforcement and pills tested positive for cyclopropyl fentanyl, a fentanyl analogue or derivative. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the investigation also revealed that Jobin mailed approximately 200 packages containing over 2.6 million fentanyl or fentanyl analogue pills to addresses in 32 different states.

Jobin is also facing charges for laundering over $130,000 in U.S. currency converted from Bitcoin proceeds he received for pressing and shipping the illegal drugs.

Following his indictment, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Jobin was arrested in Los Angeles on November 29, 2018. There, he appeared in court and was released on a $25,000 appearance bond. He was also ordered to appear in federal court in Sioux Falls for his arraignment in February 2019.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Jobin fled the U.S. in an attempt to avoid prosecution and a federal warrant was issued for his arrest. He was apprehended in Thailand, taken into the custody of the Royal Thai Police on June 7, and transported back to the U.S.

Jobin was formally arrested on his outstanding warrant on July 15 and made his initial appearance in Sioux Falls on Wednesday. He entered a plea of not guilty.

The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison to life in prison, as well as a $10 million fine.