FRESNO, Calif. (KERO) — A Bakersfield man pleaded guilty Monday for planning to distribute more than 100 pounds of methamphetamine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California.
Randal Jason Newell, 41, drove on Dec. 5, 2020, from Bakersfield to Mexico to obtain and smuggle drugs back to Bakersfield, according to court documents. He drove to the San Ysidro port of entry from Mexico to the U.S. on Dec. 7, 2020, and law enforcement found about 98 packages containing 111 pounds of methamphetamine, according to court documents. The packages were hidden in the vehicle’s gas tank, the rear compartment wall, the driver- and passenger-side exterior frame pillars, and underneath the floor, according to the documents.
Newell and eight other people were charged April 8, 2020, in three related indictments on suspicion of trafficking and purchasing to sell methamphetamine from an alleged conspiracy orchestrated by Omar Alberto Navarro, 38, of Arvin. Five of the other people charged are from Bakersfield, one is from Delano, and one is from Chico.
Newell faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison up to a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine. He is set to be sentenced Feb. 28, 2022.
The 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.