Homeland Security, Bakersfield law enforcement conduct gang operation

On Thursday morning, members of the Bakersfield and Kern County law enforcement agencies, along with Homeland Security conducted a gang enforcement operation throughout the city.
Gang Enforcement Operation
Gang Enforcement Operation
Gang Enforcement Operation
Gang Enforcement Operation
Gang Enforcement Operation
Posted at 11:05 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 21:59:37-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Some residents of east Bakersfield may have woken up to red and blue flashing lights and the United States Department of Homeland Security in their street. Oregon Street in east Bakersfield is one of the many locations across the city where a criminal gang enforcement operation happened on Thursday morning.

The operation began at 5:00 am when a joint task force made up of personnel from DHS, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Bakersfield Police Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the Los Angeles IMPACT Team gathered at the California Army National Guard facility in Bakersfield.

Also included in the operation were personnel from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, The Drug Enforcement Association, U.S. Marshal Service, and the Kern County Probation Department.

None of the people from any of the agencies present were allowed to speak to the press, but Mike Ciapas, an investigator for DHS and Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Central Valley, said the operation was to take action about outstanding criminal gang and drug cases.

23ABC was allowed to follow law enforcement to two of the locations where they intended to execute search warrants. The first location was on Oregon Street in east Bakersfield to a house with 7 adults and 4 children.

The second location was in west Bakersfield in a gated housing community near Jewetta Avenue. This house had four children and four adults in it, and law enforcement could be seen collecting evidence from both the house and the car parked out front.

A resident of the gated community who wanted to stay anonymous said he had been seeing suspicious activity at the house for months.

“I saw a lot of late night activity. Cars coming and going. A lot of shady or off-looking vehicles that looked like they didn’t belong,” said the neighbor.

Altogether, agents served 21 federal and state warrants and made a number of arrests on Thursday.

Law enforcement will discuss the operation at a press conference on Friday at 2:00 pm. Stay connected to 23ABC both on the air and online to get all the updates from that press conference.