15 people, including a California highway patrol officer and a prison employee, were arrested in connection with trying to meet minors to engage in sexual acts. The arrests came after the Kern County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover operation where detectives posed as young children online.
According to the Kern County Sheriff’s office, “The detectives received numerous correspondence from child predators, who agreed to meet in order to engage in lewd acts with a child. Undercover detectives subsequently arrested the suspects when they arrived at the meeting location, while others were arrested at their homes.”
KCSO Sheriff’s officers stated that children spending more time at home and on social media due to the coronavirus pandemic can be very vulnerable to several sexual exploitation and grooming by online predators. They have been working for several months to target these online child predators and end the assault. Those arrested range in age from 21 to 54, and include two registered sex offenders, a California highway patrol officer, and a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employee.
District Attorney’s office announced the arrest of 51-year-old Brian Pardue, who is the CHP Officer. Pardue was arrested during an execution of a search warrant and is facing charges of contacting a minor with intent to perform lewd acts and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts. The CDCR employee was identified at 54-year-old Ricardo Mancillas. Mancillas was arrested when he arrived to meet a detective who was posing as a minor. He is facing charges including arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts, meeting with a minor, and contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts.
The other sexual predators arrested by law enforcement officers were identified as 21-year-old Noah Gause, 25-year-old Devon Armstrong, 35-year-old Matthre Porcho, 27-year-old Anthony Morales, 45-year-old Gene Brimage, 30-year-old Edgar Mati Jr., 45-year-old Gene Brimage, 29-year-old Miguel Martinez, 44-year-old Edward Gonzales, 29-year-old Michael Peterson, 42-year-old Everado Viramontes, and 44-year-old Donald Self.