Kern County jail deputy accused of smuggling for gangsters

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) A Kern County detention deputy was arrested Thursday morning on suspicion of smuggling contraband to gang members in jail.

Leroy Martin Romero, 50, was detained as he arrived for work at the Lerdo Detention Facility. Over the course of months, the sheriff's office conducted an investigation into the smuggling of contraband to county inmates.

Investigators found two packages of contraband tobacco on Romero, according to the sheriff's office. Later, a search warrant was executed at Romero's home on Dartmouth in northeast Bakersfield, and two packages of suspected methamphetamine were found. Deputies also located a stolen street sign in Romero's home.

The detention deputy was arrested on suspicion of having methamphetamine, conspiracy, possession of stolen property, and participation in a criminal street gang. He was also placed on administrative leave from his job.