California DHCS assisted with investigation
SAN DIEGO— On February 5, 2024, Derek Neal Turfler, 29, of San Diego was sentenced in federal court to 97 months in prison for his role in selling fentanyl pills to a 27-year-old woman who fatally overdosed on May 9, 2022.
According to his plea agreement, Turfler arranged a meeting to deliver fentanyl to the victim, Faithe Sioban Thogode, who died later that morning after using the fentanyl he provided. According to the government’s sentencing memorandum, the defendant was addicted to fentanyl, knew how deadly the drug was, and knew the consequences for selling the drug and causing another’s death, yet he sold her the drug anyway.
Turfler also knew that the victim worked at a drug and alcohol treatment center, had just celebrated five years of sobriety, and was going through a drug relapse when he sold her the deadly pills.
According to the sentencing memo, this was not the first time the defendant had seriously hurt someone due to fentanyl. In 2019, he was convicted in California state court of driving under the influence of fentanyl and causing great bodily harm and was on formal probation for that felony conviction at the time he sold the deadly pills to Thogode.
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Distribution of Fentanyl – Title 18, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1)
Maximum penalty: Twenty years in prison
Drug Enforcement Administration
San Diego Police Department
State of California Department of Health Care Services