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Bakersfield, CA -- Child predator police officers are an unfortunate and all too common reality in the land of the free. On a near daily basis, cops across the country are busted for horrifying acts against children. Highlighting the severe nature of this problem is the fact that two law enforcement employees in the same town have just been arrested in a child sex sting.

An employee with the California Corrections department and a California Highway Patrol officer were two out of 15 people arrested during an undercover operation targeting online child predators, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Special Victim's Unit.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office has been working for several months on an operation that targets online child predators. KCSO said that during the coronavirus lockdown, online predators were out in full force going after children vulnerable to sexual exploitation and grooming.

During the operation, the KCSO was surprised when it ensnared two of their own fellow law enforcement folks. CCHCS employee Ricardo Mancillas, 54, and CHP Officer Brian Pardue, 51, were arrested on multiple charges

Mancillas is facing charges of meeting with a minor, arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts and contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts.

Pardue was arrested during the execution of a search warrant, according to ABC 23. He's facing charges of contacting a minor with the intent to perform lewd acts and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd acts.

After his arrest the CHP fired him and quickly released a canned statement similar to ones they have released in the past when other officers are caught preying on children. We are assured he's just a bad apple and everyone else is perfect -- until the next time it happens.

The CHP released this statement:

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“The CHP is aware of the arrest of Officer Brian Pardue by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office for alleged behavior that occurred while the employee was off duty. The CHP continues to fully cooperate with the investigating agency and we are conducting our own investigation into the allegations. I want to assure the public that we take any allegation of misconduct by our employees, whether on or off duty, very seriously.

“I also want to emphasize to the public that the alleged conduct of this employee does not reflect the values, hard work, dedication and professionalism of the CHP and its more than 11,000 employees, who proudly work each day to provide the best in Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.”

According to ABC 23, the operation involved undercover detectives, posing as minor children through various online applications and websites. The detectives were contacted and solicited by individuals interested in the sexual exploitation of children.

On top of the two law enforcement personnel arrested, 13 others including two registered sex offenders were arrested as well.

Sadly, this problem doesn't appear to be going away. TFTP reports on cases like this on a weekly basis.

Just days ago, TFTP reported on the case of Sr. Cpl. Daniel Lee Collins from the Dallas Police Department. Collins is accused of using the department's computer network to traffic in child pornography. He was allegedly doing so while on duty.

Also earlier this year, another former cop was arrested in connection with a child sex ring. As TFTP reported late last year, a high level Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy — who commanded the SWAT team — and his wife were indicted on more than 150 felonies for unspeakable crimes against children and animals. Dennis Perkins, 44, and and his wife Cynthia Perkins, 34, are accused of multiple counts of child rape and the production of child pornography, among other disturbing charges. Then, at the beginning of the month, another former cop, Melanie Barnett Curtin, 41, of Denham Springs, was arrested Saturday, Feb. 1 as she returned from a cruise in New Orleans.

It is a sad day when police officers — the ones who claim to protect us — are caught preying on society's most vulnerable. However, there are a lot of sad days as this situation plays out like a broken record, over and over again.

To access our archive of child rapist cops, click here.