KCSO undercover operation leads to 11 arrests of child predators

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Posted at 6:01 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 21:37:55-05

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — During the past few months, Detectives from the Kern County Sheriff's Office, Special Victims Unit conducted an undercover operation that led to the arrest of 11 online child predators, one of which was an employee of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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.

Detectives subsequently arrested the suspects when they arrived at the meeting location, while others were arrested at their homes.

Suspects ranged from ages 24 to 51 years old.

The following is a list of individuals arrested:

  • Jonah Scott Smutney, 24, of Bakersfield
  • Julio Vasquez, 38, of Bakersfield
  • Werner Ernest Leo III, 51, of Bakersfield
  • Tommy Hardin, 35, of Bakersfield
  • Brian Donaldson, 50, of Bakersfield
  • Roger Groza, 32, of Bakersfield
  • Jonathan Kenneth Simon, 42, of Bakersfield
  • Jeffrey Lee Lawson, 40, of Porterville
  • Jesus Valencia, 24, of Bakersfield
  • Robert Geivet , 42, Bakersfield
  • Roberto Jesus Cortez, 39, Bakersfield