Facing Life in Prison, $10 Million Fine
Confronted with overwhelming evidence gathered by a task force of a dozen federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, a 38-year-old Bakersfield man known as "Spider" pleaded guilty in federal court in Fresno on May 2 to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl.
On April 8, 2021, Spider and eight other defendants were charged in three related indictments for trafficking and purchasing to sell methamphetamine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California. Seven co-defendants are from Bakersfield or nearby towns. The eighth defendant is from Chico.
Highlights from charging documents
Between September 2020 and March 2021, Spider and others conspired to smuggle meth from Mexico to the Eastern District of California in "load cars. The drugs were stored, sold, and distributed to others within the district.
Evidence against Spider included an Oct. 29, 2020, meeting in Bakersfield where he sold six pounds of meth to a co-defendant. Also, on March 26, 2021, Spider was found in possession of, and with intent to distribute, four pounds of meth.
As part of his plea agreement, Spider forfeited three 9 mm ghost guns seized from his home. (Ghost guns are made from kits and do not have serial numbers.)
Why accept a plea deal?
Spider is the second of the eight co-defendants to plead guilty. On March 29, the first co-defendant to plead guilty was sentenced to three years and three months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle about 111 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico to Bakersfield.
Spider is scheduled to be sentenced on July 5. He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. Sentencing, however, is "at the discretion of the court" after consideration of the complex Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which are only advisory.
District court judges and USAO prosecutors tend to be more lenient with defendants who confess and admit guilt—but no one should accept a plea deal without first consulting a criminal defense attorney experienced in federal law! Call the Sigal Law Group at (818) 325-0570 for a free consultation.