Bakersfield Man Pleads Guilty to Transporting over 100 Pounds of Methamphetamine
FRESNO, Calif. — Randal Jason Newell, 41, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty today to possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Wade R. Shannon and Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.
According to court documents, on Dec. 5, 2020, Newell drove from Bakersfield to Mexico to obtain and smuggle narcotics from Mexico to Bakersfield, which he agreed to do for $7,000. On Dec. 7, 2020, Newell drove to the San Ysidro port of entry crossing from Mexico into the United States. Law enforcement officers inspected Newell’s vehicle at the border crossing and discovered approximately 98 packages containing approximately 111 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the vehicle’s gas tank, the rear compartment wall, the driver and passenger-side exterior frame pillars, and underneath the floor.
On April 8, 2021, Newell and eight other defendants were charged in three related indictments for trafficking and purchasing to sell methamphetamine from a conspiracy orchestrated by Omar Alberto Navarro, 38, of Arvin. The other defendants are: Daniel Armendariz Mercado, 42; David Delgado Gonzalez, 38; Miguel Angel Martinez, 27; Amayrani Jared Arreguin, 25; and Yvette Gallegos, 23, all of Bakersfield; Lizette Mendez, 32, of Delano; and James Scott Gordon, 47, of Chico. The charges against them are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the Bakersfield Police Department, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the Shafter Police Department, the Kern County Probation Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher D. Baker and Laura J. Berger are prosecuting the case.
Newell is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Feb. 28, 2022. Newell faces a statutory mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison up to a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.