‘I wish all of our candidates and employees were as virtuous as those who spend their days criticizing law enforcement, but the reality is I am hiring human beings,’ Sheriff Chad Bianco.

Bianco: 'I Am Hiring Human Beings'

Sheriff Chad Bianco

BANNING — In the wake of a correctional deputy being arrested, suspected of playing “a pivotal role” in trafficking “large quantities of narcotics,” Sheriff Chad Bianco told Uken Report Friday that he is “extremely proud of the effort and determination of our employees who conducted this extremely difficult investigation.

Contrary to what was reported by some outlets, there is no allegation or evidence to suggest the suspect in this case brought narcotics into any of our jails, Bianco said. “Part of being a moral and ethical law enforcement officer is the courage to identify those bad apples who bring discredit to our honorable profession and the strength to expose and eliminate them.

What I do find as a “black eye” is the allegation that someone from inside the Sheriff’s Office leaked this information to members of the media, and some media outlets chose to report it with a complete disregard for the integrity of the investigation, the safety of our investigators, our informants, and even the safety of the suspect, Bianco said.

“Shame on that person or persons if that proves to be true. Armchair quarterbacks claiming to be “former investigators” are either showing their incompetence or are choosing to compromise investigations for their own personal benefit or agenda.”

What some in the liberal media, and anti-law enforcement special interest groups, fail to recognize or acknowledge is one of my major hurdles in recruitment and retention, “Bianco said.

“I hire from the general public. I wish all of our candidates and employees were as virtuous as those who spend their days criticizing law enforcement, but the reality is I am hiring human beings. We all make mistakes.  Some mistakes can be acceptable and corrected but unfortunately for the nature of our business some mistakes must be fatal to your career.”

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office will employ all necessary measures to ensure the highest standards of integrity and professionalism among its personnel, the Sheriff said.

“What I do find amusing is that those who live and breathe to criticize me and law enforcement in general are usually the loudest voice in the room when it comes to defending groups of people against the actions of a few,” Bianco said.  “They are also now the loudest and the ones being quoted by the media, sometimes it is the media, who want us all to believe that the actions of a few reflect the quality of the whole.  Hypocrisy at its finest.”

We continue to remain committed to the highest ethical and moral standards our communities deserve, Bianco emphasized.

A Riverside County correctional deputy suspected of playing “a pivotal role” in trafficking “large quantities of narcotics,” and who was out of custody on $1 million bail, was rearrested with his bail amount increased to $5 million, according to an update Thursday from a Riverside County sheriff’s captain.

Jorge Alberto Oceguera Rocha, 25, of Banning was taken back into custody Wednesday night just hours after posting his initial bail.

Bail was increased because Oceguera Rocha is a flight risk and a danger to the public, according to Rob Roggeveen, captain of the sheriff’s Special Investigations Bureau.

Oceguera Rocha was first arrested Sunday following a traffic stop conducted on Interstate 10 at County Line Road in Calimesa. A K9 alerted to the presence of narcotics within his vehicle and a search was conducted. More than 100 pounds of packaged fentanyl pills (M30’s) were found, along with a loaded handgun, Roggeveen reported in a news release.

Oceguera Rocha was subsequently booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in French Valley, but he made bail Wednesday. The booking charges were narcotics possession, transporting/distributing narcotics, and possession of narcotics while armed with a firearm — all felonies.

The case against Oceguera Rocha was presented to the Assistant U.S. Attorney’s office for review on federal drug trafficking charges and weapon charges, but a federal indictment was rejected, according to Roggeveen.

Oceguera Rocha was subsequently rearrested Wednesday night in Banning and Roggeveen said the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office is prepared to file formal charges against him.

Oceguera Rocha was hired by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in April 2019. At the time of his initial arrest, he was serving at Banning’s Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Wenndy Brito Gonzalez.

He has resigned from the sheriff’s department, according to Gonzalez.

The investigation into Oceguera Rocha determined he was not smuggling narcotics into the Riverside County jail system, according to Roggeveen.

Image Sources

  • Sheriff Chad Bianco: Sheriff Chad Bianco
  • Jorge Alberto Oceguera Rocha: RSO