Kern County Sheriff's detention deputy accused of smuggling tobacco into jail

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Kern County Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Lerdo detention deputy for allegedly smuggling tobacco into the detention center for criminal street gang members. 

Within the last several months deputies from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Gang Suppression Section began an investigation into the smuggling of contraband into the Lerdo Detention Facility.

Deputies detained Leroy Martin Romero, 50, when he arrived for work on, Thursday. 

After searching Romero, deputies found two packages of contraband tobacco. The tobacco was packaged in a manner consistent with methods used to smuggle contraband into detention facilities, deputies confirmed. 

Deputies also served a search warrant at Romero’s residence at the 2900 block of Dartmouth in Northeast Bakersfield.

During a search, deputies found two packages of suspected methamphetamine.

The suspected methamphetamine had been packaged in a manner consistent with smuggling contraband. The approximate weight of the suspected methamphetamine was three grams.

Deputies also located a stolen street sign.

Romero was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, and participation in a criminal street gang.

He was booked into the Kern County Jail Central Receiving Facility. His bail has been set at $90,000.

Romero has since been placed on administrative leave.

The criminal investigation is ongoing. If anyone has information on this investigation they are asked to contact the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at (661)861-3110.

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