Operation Deep South: 35 total arrested in multi-agency gang bust

Local News

A months-long, multi-agency gang crackdown led to 35 alleged criminals arrested.

Operation Deep South has been a joint effort between Bakersfield Police, the Sheriff’s department, FBI, and Homeland Security.

“I look forward to the successful prosecution of the gang members we arrested,” said Kern District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer.

Since the operation started in August, 35 people have been put behind bars.

Twenty-six were arrested Tuesday alone, 9 women and seventeen men.

Five were taken into custody outside Bakersfield, some as far away as North Dakota.

“We had some firearms that were on their way here from some of these other states,” said Bakersfield Police chief Lyle Martin.

Two are now facing federal charges.

“One in felony possession of a firearm, another with prostitution-related federal offenses,” said Sean Reagan of FBI Sacramento field office.

Another four are facing attempted homicide charges. Five were arrested for burglary and six for organized retail theft.

Many of those arrested are Country Boy Crips, one of the oldest and most violent gangs in Kern County.

In three years, the gang has been involved in 56 shootings. That averages out to two a month.

“Those two shootings a month from the Country Boy Crips, if that’s your claim to fame, rest assured. We’re not done yet,” said Kern Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

Phillip Rivera, who’s been living on Parkwood Court in Southwest Bakersfield for four years, saw the busts happen Tuesday.

“I heard the sounds of helicopters about 8 in the morning,” Rivera said. “I went around the curb to take my kids to school, and I see the SWATs, police, everything. I was surprised, and when I found out it had to do with gangs— shocked.”

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