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California man who fled to Thailand gets prison for national Fentanyl trafficking scheme

California man who fled to Thailand gets prison for national Fentanyl trafficking scheme

A Huntington Beach man who fled to Thailand in an apparent attempt to avoid prosecution for a drug trafficking and money laundering scheme was sentenced Monday to more than 24 years in prison.

Damon Vincent Jobin, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal charges of conspiring to commit money laundering and conspiracy to distribute a Fentanyl analogue, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Federal prosecutors say Jobin and other alleged conspirators sold pills they manufactured containing fentanyl or an analogue or derivative of fentanyl across the country through the Dark Web, then laundered the proceeds through online cryptocurrency exchanges.

Jobin was indicted by a federal grand jury, arrested in Los Angeles in Nov. 2018 and ordered to appear at a federal court in South Dakota. But he instead fled to Thailand, and a federal arrest warrant was issued.

The Royal Thai Police took Jobin into custody in June 2019, and he was transported by U.S. Marshals from Thailand to South Dakota.

The investigation included the seizure by law enforcement in South Dakota of 20,000 pills sent through the mail, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Prosecutors allege that Jobin and others were distributing the pills to drug dealers in South Dakota.

According to prosecutors, Jobin manufactured and mailed approximately 200 packages containing more than 2.6 million pills to addresses in 32 different states. Jobin is believed to have been making between $25,000 to $35,000 a week from his role in the conspiracy, prosecutors added.

“This defendant was selling millions of poisonous, home-pressed Fentanyl pills to people all over the country,” Ronald A. Parsons Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota, said in a written 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.”

U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier, who sentenced Jobin, reportedly described it as the largest fentanyl conspiracy case she had seen in her courtroom. Authorities also described it as an example of how investigators with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service have been at the forefront of dark net investigations involving the sale of narcotics.


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