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The Kern County Sheriff’s Department, under the leadership of Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, was one of the agencies that participated in the Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Operation led by Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer’s office. / Laura Austin File Photo

Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Operation yields 23 arrests

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer’s Office– Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer announced the results of a significant Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking operation that was conducted in Bakersfield last week. Between August 9 and August 12, 2023, a multi-agency human trafficking and child exploitation undercover operation was conducted in Bakersfield by local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, including Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Kern County District Attorney Bureau of Investigation, Bakersfield Police Department, Kern County Sheriff’s Department, Kern County Probation Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Secret Service, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Parole Unit, California Department of Justice, Sexual Predator Apprehension Team, and Fresno County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The operation yielded 23 arrests on a variety of charges related to human trafficking and child exploitation, including:

Penal Code Section 236.1 (Human Trafficking), Penal Code Section 266H (Pimping), Penal Code Section 266I (Pandering), Penal Code Section 288.2 (Sending Harmful Material to Seduce a Minor), Penal Code Section 288.4 (Arranging a Meeting with a Minor for Lewd Purpose)

Penal Code Section 288.3 (Contact with a Minor with Intent to Commit Sexual Offense), Penal Code Section 266b (Abduction to Live in an Illicit Relationship), and

Penal Code Section 311.1 (Possession of Child Pornography).

The following individuals were arrested and booked during the operation: Salvador Salcedo, age 56; Daniel Hernandez, age 36; Diego Gonzalez, age 36; Jose Trejo, age 33

Jasvinder Singh, age 35 Joginder Singh, age 54 Ronnie Germaine Wiley, age 30 Alberto Rodriguez, age 23 Antonio Romero Jr., age 30 William Alfredo Perez Sandoval, age 26 Mynor Velasquez, age 38 Rolando Lopez, age 23 Rajinder Pal Singh, age 54 Michael Peter Muratalla, age 43 Nishan Singh, age 33  Eli Robert Wilson, age 29 Rickie Travon Walker, age 40 Devon Paul Taylor, age 31 Joshua Jemira Johnson, age 38 Karnail Singh, age 44 Christopher Lee Grinner, age 36.

Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer commented on the success of the operation, stating:

“Maintaining a strong law enforcement presence in social media dating apps and physical locations where human trafficking is known to occur is an important element of suppressing human trafficking. The success of this operation shows the commitment of law enforcement to combating human trafficking and child exploitation. It offers a glimpse into how prevalent these horrific crimes are within our state.”

Bakersfield Police Department Chief Greg Terry:

“These types of operations are vital to the safety of our children and families. Even though it is largely hidden from view, human trafficking occurs in our community. There is no typical victim, but they are often our most vulnerable community members. The perpetrators of these serious and violent crimes will be held accountable for their actions.”

Homeland Security Investigations Central Valley HSI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Ciapas:

“HSI special agents worked tirelessly to protect children from exploitation by predators who are involved in the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography and who travel to engage illicit sexual conduct with minors.”

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood: “We will do whatever it takes to protect our most vulnerable. This is ongoing and there is more to come!”