Sheriff's aide arrested at Lerdo
Last updated 4/18/2020 at 4:48pm | View PDF
A sheriff’s aide at the Lerdo Pre-Trial Facility was arrested following an investigation of suspected contraband distribution. Thirteen inmates also face charges, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Sheriff’s aide Erik Belmontes was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized communication with an inmate, bringing a controlled drug into a jail, bringing a cell phone into a jail, possession of a controlled drug for the purpose of sales, conspiracy to commit a felony and participation in a criminal street gang.
Belmontes was booked into the KCSO’s Central Receiving Facility with a bail of $110,000 and placed on administrative leave, pending disciplinary proceedings, the KCSO reported.
Lerdo Pre-Trial Facility inmates Gary Pierson, 39, and Deshaun Nicholson, 30, are suspected to be co-conspirators and face the same charges. Both inmates were also found to be participants in a criminal street gang.
Eleven other inmates were arrested and charged with additional crimes committed in custody relating to suspicion of cell phones, illegal drugs and jail-made weapons, according to the KCSO.
The investigation began March 9 after detention deputies found illegal contraband. Additional contraband was then discovered by narcotics units.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact the KCSO at 661-861-3110.