Noel Carter agrees to plead guilty to federal charges in police drug ring

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Businessman Noel Carter took a plea deal, admitting selling meth — part of the drug ring involving disgraced Bakersfield police officers Damacio Diaz and Patrick Mara. 

Carter agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to sell drugs and five counts of bank fraud. In exchange, two other charges will be dismissed.  

According to the plea agreement, Carter admitted to selling at least 20 lbs. of meth for Diaz and Mara. He also admitted to embezzling $70,251 from his employer by depositing 87 business checks into his personal account. 

Carter was indicted last September on suspicion of selling the stolen drugs out of the Bank of America building downtown, right across from Kern County Superior Court. The indictment states Carter used the office he leased in the building as a drop-off point for drugs and money.

In June, additional fraud charges were tacked on against Carter alleging he also defrauded business customers who he was leasing office space to by cashing their checks into his personal bank account instead of the company’s account.

Carter has also been linked to two former deputies convicted in federal court of selling marijuana they stole from the Kern County Sheriff’s Department. While the case numbers are linked, the plea agreement does not mention Logan August, 32, or Derrick Penney, 36.

The drug charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison. According to the plea agreement, the government will recommend a minimal sentence for Carter if he provides information leading to the prosecution of others.

Diaz and Mara were sentenced to five years in federal prison. 

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