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The Daily Republic reported that a former resident of Mitchell, South Dakota received a 70-month sentence in federal court. Jacob Hubbs, 21, received his sentence after pleading guilty in February to purchasing fentanyl pills online. According to a court document, Hubbs admitted to freely participating in this conspiracy with at least one other person from October 2016 until April 24, 2017.

During that time, Hubbs purchased pills online, which in turn were sold to individuals who would distribute them in South Dakota and beyond. At the time of his arrest, police found over 1,000 light blue pills that looked like oxycodone on Hubbs. Subsequent testing showed the pills to be counterfeit and to made with fentanyl.

Lt. Detective Don Everson of the Mitchell Department of Public Safety said, “Fentanyl is a very dangerous drug. It’s more powerful than morphine and it’s easy to overdose because you don’t know who made these pills or what’s in them. Every time you take an illegal drug, you’re taking a chance and you could die.” Everson added that police are finding it more difficult to monitor their communities because drugs are being ordered off the internet, but, “We rely on the community for help with cases. When a problem like this happens, it really affects the entire community.”

According to a press release issued at the time of Hubb’s arrest by the Attorney General of South Dakota, multiple law enforcement agencies participated in this case, including the Mitchell Police Department, Brookings Police Department, Watertown Police Department, Yankton Police Department, James Valley Drug Task Force, Sioux Falls Drug Task Force, South Dakota Highway Patrol and the Division of Criminal Investigation. You can learn more about the counterfeit fentanyl pill crisis by reading PSM’s 43 States and Counting Report.