Aberdeen, SD -- United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that two men convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.
Dayvon Byrd, age 29, from Watertown, South Dakota, convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.
Joshua Noel Paul, age 38, from Watertown, South Dakota, convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime, was sentenced to 211 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.
Byrd was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 13, 2018, and a Superseding Information was filed on November 16, 2011. He pled guilty on December 7, 2018. Paul was indicated by a federal grand jury on March 13, 2018, and a Superseding Indictment was filed on June 12, 2018. He pled guilty on September 14, 2018.
The convictions stem from a methamphetamine conspiracy in and around the Watertown and Sisseton areas from November 23, 2017, through February 28, 2018. The conspiracy involved over 500 grams of methamphetamine, a Schedule II controlled substance. Byrd, and three other co-defendants, Alexis Dumarce, Amos Hall, and Danny Callahan, were selling methamphetamine brought to South Dakota from California by Paul and co-defendant Victor Caperon. Caperon and Paul were found with six pounds of methamphetamine on February 28, 2018, during a traffic stop in Corson County, South Dakota. This methamphetamine was intended for sale in the Watertown and Sisseton areas.
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. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its 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 local communities to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.
This case was investigated by the Northern Plains Safe Trails Drug Enforcement Task Force, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Corson County Sheriff’s Office, Mobridge Police Department, and the Watertown Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan N. Dilges prosecuted the case.
Byrd and Paul were immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.