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BAKERSFIELD — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin, and Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer today announced the arrest of 35 individuals; the seizure of 15 firearms, including three assault weapons; and the seizure of illegal narcotics and retail theft items as part of a takedown of gang members in Bakersfield.
Operation Deep South targeted criminal activities by the Country Boy Crips street gang, located in south Bakersfield. The arrests are a result of a three-month long investigation.
“At the California Department of Justice, protecting public safety in our neighborhoods and communities is our top priority. Thanks to a collaborative effort with the Bakersfield Police Department, we have taken down a dangerous gang that has terrorized the Bakersfield community,” said Attorney General Becerra. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to bring criminal street gangs to justice.”
“Today’s operation was the latest example of our strategic and surgical approach towards impacting gang violence,” said Bakersfield Police Chief Martin. “By partnering with our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies we are able to better serve our community and carry out the true mission of law enforcement”
“Gang activity has proven to be the primary cause of our County’s elevated homicide rate,” said District Attorney Zimmer. “Today’s operation strikes back by targeting gang crimes and using intelligence-driven policing to suppress and reduce violent crime.”
The operation was the product of a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol Special Operations Unit, the Bakersfield Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. As a result of the investigation, agents were able to identify suspects believed to be responsible for multiple gang shootings and attempted murder. The investigation identified other criminal activities including accessory to attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, shooting at an occupied vehicle, pimping and pandering, prostitution, organized retail theft, grand theft, residential burglaries, possession of stolen property, felony possession of a firearm, commission of crimes while armed, narcotics distribution, along with conspiracy and committing offenses for the benefit of criminal street gang.
The Special Operations Unit is a collaborative investigative effort between the California Department of Justice and the California Highway Patrol that provides statewide enforcement for combating violent career criminals, gangs, and organized crime groups, along with intrastate drug traffickers. These unique and essential teams use the latest technology and advanced investigative techniques and work alongside local law enforcement to enhance investigations into violent criminals and organized crime throughout the state.
It is important to note that criminal charges are allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.