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BAKERSFIELD - Over the past several months, detectives from the Kern County Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit conducted an ongoing undercover operation targeting online child predators. Due to COVID-19, many children are at an increased risk of harm as their lives move increasingly online. Spending more time online can leave children vulnerable to sexual exploitation and grooming by predators looking to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic. Special Victims Unit detectives have remained vigilant, and they recognized the increased threat posed by online predators during this time.

Undercover detectives, posing as minor children through various online applications and websites, were contacted and solicited by individuals interested in the sexual exploitation of children. 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.

During the operation, detectives arrested 15 suspects, ranging from ages 21 to 54 years old, including two registered sex offenders, a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitiation (CDCR) employee, and a California Highway Patrol Officer.

Brian Pardue (51), a California Highway Patrol Officer, was arrested during the execution of a search warrant.

Ricardo Mancillas (54), a civilian CDCR Employee, was arrested when he arrived to meet the detective posing as a minor.

The Sheriff’s Office continues to adapt during this unprecedented public health pandemic in the interest of protecting our community's children and bringing justice to those who commit these repugnant crimes. 

Parents are urged to closely monitor their children's online activity and use security settings to prevent them from accessing inappropriate websites and online social media platforms. The Kern County Sheriff's Office encourages the public to report anyone attempting to coerce minors into providing sexually explicit images of themselves.

The following is a list of individuals arrested and associated charges during this operation:

5/20/2020       

Devon Gary Armstrong (25) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.2(a)(1), Send harmful matter to minor                                        

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

PC 647.6(a), Annoying a minor

 

6/3/2020                           

Noah Richard Gause (21) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

 

6/3/2020                            

Ricardo Mancillas (54) Bakersfield, CA - CDCR Employee

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

 

6/15/2020                          

Jeffrey Chad Perez (30) Lake Isabella, CA

PC 288.2(a)(1), Send harmful matter to minor

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

6/15/2020                           

Mathew Porcho (35) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.2(a)(1), Send harmful matter to minor

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

6/18/2020                           

Anthony Charles Morales (27) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

6/18/2020           

Gene Allen Brimage (45) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

6/23/2020                          

Albert Wesley Blankenship (49) Roseburg, Oregon

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

PC 647(b), Prostitution

 

6/27/2020                           

Edgar Ubay Mati Jr. (30) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor          

 

6/27/2020                           

Miguel Martinez (29) Bakersfield, CA

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

7/03/2020                           

Michael Swayne Peterson (26) Arvin, CA

PC 288.2(a)(1), Send harmful matter to minor

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

7/03/2020                           

Brian Pardue (51) Bakersfield, CA -  CHP Officer 

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

 

7/7/2020                             

Edward Daniel Gonzales (44) Bakersfield, CA - 290 registrant 

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(2), Arranging a meeting as sex offender with prior conviction

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

7/8/2020                             

Donald Lee Self (44) Bakersfield, CA - 290 registrant 

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(2), Arranging a meeting as sex offender with prior conviction

PC 288.4(b), Meeting with a minor

 

7/17/2020                           

Everado Viramontes (42) Delano, CA

PC 288.3(a), Contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts

PC 288.4(a)(1), Arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts

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