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Press Release

Bakersfield Resident Sentenced to over 3 Years in Prison for Transporting over 100 Pounds of Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — Randal Jason Newell, 42, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today to three years and three months in prison for possessing with intent to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

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, 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.

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

Updated March 29, 2022

Drug Trafficking