Double drug bust lands Ridgecrest man in jail

During a traffic stop on April 3 about 10 p.m., Ridgecrest Police Sgt. Justin Dampier observed the driver, Robert James Bertrand, 29, exhibiting signs of drug use. Dampier reported finding approximately a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine in the suspect’s possession as well as several thousands dollars in U.S. currency.

Reportedly, evidence indicated that Bertrand possessed the meth for the purpose of sales. He was arrested and booked into Kern County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance for sales, transportation of a controlled substance, driving under the influence, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Bertrand was released on a bail bond pending further criminal proceedings.

On April 23 Officer Aaron Tucker conducted a traffic stop of Bertrand at about 6:30 p.m. in the 500 block of East Commercial Avenue. Tucker said Bertrand was behaving in a suspicious manner and possessed several knives, so Tucker began a cursory frisk of his person. Reportedly, Bertrand began to “tense up,” so Tucker began to handcuff the suspect for safety. Bertrand twisted away and fled the scene. Responding RPD patrol officers assisted Tucker in apprehending the suspect in the back yard of a nearby residence.

A search of Bertrand’s vehicle turned up approximately two and a half ounces of suspected meth. In the backyard where Bertrand was apprehended, additional meth and drug paraphernalia was located. The suspect was again found to be in possession of several thousand dollars in U. S. currency. Bertrand was booked into Kern County Jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance for sales, transportation of a controlled substance, DUI, being under the influence and resisting/delaying a peace officer.

The currency possessed by Bertrand in both incidents was seized pending Asset Forfeiture proceedings through the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

Since then, Bertrand pled no contest to charges of transporting a controlled substance and DUI alcohol. The other charges were dismissed. His next court appearance will be July 2, for sentencing. Until that time, he is being held at Lerdo Pretrial Facility in Bakersfield on $205,000 bail.

Story First Published: 2013-06-05