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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Friday, October 19, 2018

Eagle Butte Man Sentenced on Methamphetamine Charges

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that an Eagle Butte, South Dakota, man convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance was sentenced on October 15, 2018, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.

Nevin Joaquin, age 30, was sentenced to 120 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, the forfeiture of two firearms, ammunition, and United States currency, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Joaquin was indicted by a federal grand jury on December 12, 2017.  He pled guilty on July 25, 2018.

Joaquin admitted to conspiring with others to distribute at least 1,500 grams of methamphetamine in South Dakota.  From September of 2013, to the date of his indictment, Joaquin received distributable quantities of methamphetamine from others who knew that he intended to engage in further distribution.  Joaquin further distributed that methamphetamine in South Dakota. 

Joaquin came into contact with law enforcement in Eagle Butte, and again in Pierre, on February and April of 2016.  Both times he possessed a semi-automatic pistol, ammunition, and United States currency totaling $770.  Joaquin admitted that he carried a pistol for protection while distributing methamphetamine, and admitted that the United States currency found in his possession was proceeds from his distribution of methamphetamine.

Drug trafficking is an inherently violent activity.  Firearms are tools of the trade for drug dealers.  It is common to find drug traffickers armed with guns in order to protect their illegal drug product and cash, and enforce their illegal operations.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.   Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The United States Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force were involved in the investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney SaraBeth Donovan prosecuted the case.

Joaquin was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Drug Trafficking
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated October 19, 2018