Prison employee, highway patrol officer among 15 arrested, accused of soliciting minors

Authorities in California arrested 15 people, including a California Highway Patrol officer and a prison employee, as part of an undercover operation targeting online child predators, officials with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said Monday in a news release.
Authorities said the suspects contacted and solicited undercover detectives who were posing as children on various online applications and websites.
“The detectives received numerous correspondence from child predators, who agreed to meet in order to engage in lewd acts with a child,” deputies said. “Undercover detectives subsequently arrested the suspects when they arrived at the meeting location, while others were arrested at their homes.”  
From May 20 to July 17, authorities arrested 15 people between the ages of 21 and 54 as part of the operation, including two registered sex offenders, an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and a California Highway Patrol officer. The suspects were identified as:
  • California Highway Patrol Officer Brian Pardue, 51, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts.
  • Civilian CDCR employee Ricardo Mancillas, 54, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with meeting with a minor, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts.
  • Registered sex offender Edward Daniel Gonzales, 44, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts, arranging a meeting as a sex offender with a prior conviction and meeting with a minor.
  • Registered sex offender Donald Lee Self, 44, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts, arranging a meeting as a sex offender with a prior conviction and meeting with a minor.
  • Devon Gary Armstrong, 25, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with sending harmful matter to a minor, contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts, meeting a minor and annoying a minor.
  • Noah Richard Gause, 21, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with meeting with a minor, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts.
  • Jeffrey Chad Perez, 30, of Lake Isabella, Calif., who is charged with sending harmful matter to a minor, contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Mathew Porcho, 35, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with sending harmful matter to a minor, contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Anthony Charles Morales, 27, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Gene Allen Brimage, 45, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Albert Wesley Blankenship, 49, of Roseburg, Ore., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts, meeting with a minor and prostitution.
  • Edgar Ubay Mati Jr., 30, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Miguel Martinez, 29, of Bakersfield, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Michael Swayne Peterson, 26, of Arvin, Calif. who is charged with sending harmful matter to a minor, contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and meeting with a minor.
  • Everado Viramontes, 42, of Delano, Calif., who is charged with contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts,
Authorities said the coronavirus pandemic has increased the risk posed to minors online.
“Due to COVID-19, many children are at an increased risk of harm as their lives move increasingly online,” deputies said. “Spending more time online can leave children vulnerable to sexual exploitation and grooming by predators looking to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Prison employee, highway patrol officer among 15 arrested, accused of soliciting minors Prison employee, highway patrol officer among 15 arrested, accused of soliciting minors Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 10:17 Rating: 5

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