Man charged in fentanyl death

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A Columbia man has been charged in connection with the drug-induced death this past fall of 27-year-old Clayton Augustine of Waterloo. 

The charging documents, filed Feb. 9, allege Derek A. Dillon, 35, knowingly delivered fentanyl to Augustine on Oct. 14, 2021, and that ingesting the drug subsequently caused Augustine’s death six days later. 

Dillon is charged with drug-induced homicide, which is a Class X felony, in addition to possession of methamphetamine and possession of fentanyl. 

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said the U.S. Marshals Office brought Dillon into custody in St. Louis and Dillon is currently being detained in a jail outside of Monroe County.

Rohlfing confirmed that shortly before Augustine’s death, an investigation into Dillon’s alleged drug dealing had begun.

The Waterloo Police Department started investigating the possibility of drug-induced homicide shortly after Augustine’s death, WPD Sgt. Eric Zaber said.

Zaber said based on the investigation, he suspected fentanyl was the underlying cause of Augustine’s death and that it was likely the fentanyl that killed Augustine had been supplied by Dillon. 

Zaber said while he could not reveal the exact location of the alleged drug deal that may have led to Augustine’s death, it did take place in Waterloo. The investigation also found Augustine had ingested controlled substances multiple times the week of his death, Zaber said. 

Monroe County court records show both Dillon and Augustine were known to local law enforcement and were previously convicted of drug-related offenses, with Augustine having been charged with possession of fentanyl in April 2020.

Court documents show that on Nov. 30, 2021, a warrant was issued for Dillon’s arrest on a probation violation stemming from a fentanyl possession charge in 2018. He was sentenced in 2019 to two years of probation in that case.

The warrant to revoke probation was issued because Dillon failed to attend required treatment and missed his continued “stay meeting” with Human Support Services, court records show.

Columbia and Waterloo police and Monroe County Probation Officer Courtney Schweickhardt visited Dillon’s residence in Columbia on Nov. 30, with Zaber stating his department hoped to interview Dillon about Augustine’s death at that time. 

However, Dillon was transported to a hospital shortly after being contacted as he claimed to have had recently ingested fentanyl, police said. 

Columbia Police Chief Jason Donjon said his department subsequently aided the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois with removing suspected controlled substances from Dillon’s residence. It is not clear if the suspected substances seized that day were tied to his most recent charges. 

Debra Augustine, Clayton’s mother, said her family and the Dillons had known each other for a long time. 

“I know the kid. I know his family, and there’s no winners here at all,” she said. “If this is what he’s doing, then yeah he needs to be off the street, whether (we know each other) or have both been through whatever you want to call it.”

Debra said her son was “a good kid that got into a dark place.” He left behind a fiance and a young son who will turn 1.5 years old this week. 

Clayton was a 2013 graduate of Waterloo High School.

Clayton’s mother added she hopes her son’s story raises awareness of drug use in Monroe County. 

“I don’t think there’s enough awareness out there right now, and especially in smaller communities like ours,” she said. “You want to think, ‘That is a St. Louis thing.’ It isn’t a St. Louis thing – it’s an everywhere thing. If it can bring more awareness, that can only help the situation, this epidemic.” 

Dillon’s family declined to comment on the matter. 

Public court records do not indicate if Dillon has yet to seek legal representation in this case. 

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