Gang sweep: 21 'terrorized neighborhoods' in Bakersfield

Gang sweep: 21 'terrorized neighborhoods' in Bakersfield »Play Video
U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announces the arrest of alleged East Side Crips gang members during a news conference Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, in Bakersfield.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Sixteen alleged gang members were swept from Bakersfield's streets Friday morning.

They are among 21 charged in a yearlong investigation into the East Side Crips of Bakersfield. More than 100 law officers from a number of agencies participated in the early morning raids, according to federal prosecutors.

Seventeen federal indictments have been leveled against 19 alleged gangsters. The other two suspects are being prosecuted by the state.

All of the suspects are accused of narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses. Many of the defendants are charged with trafficking in crack cocaine.

"This operation was directed at the single most violent criminal street gang in Bakersfield," the city's police chief Greg Williamson said in a news release. "With the assistance of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI, we have seriously damaged the gang's ability to make money and operate in our community."

The East Side Crips are responsible for "shootings, robberies, drug dealing, and other illegal activities that have terrorized neighborhoods in this city," U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said in the news release.

Five defendants were already in custody. The 16 arrested in Friday's sweep are:

Ronnie Alexander, 43
Dorian Jones, 37
Ray Allen, 28
Ernest Joe Kerr, 48
Fellie Martin Bradford Jr., 45
Darius Dewayne Key, 28
Dupree Demery, 31
Elbert Stokes, 41
Charles Denwitty, 48
Demetrius Tanner, 24
Andre Johnson, 35
Darrick Leroy Williams, 42
Samuel Johnson, 27
Frank Wright III, 43
Tyrone Joseph Johnson Jr., 38
Wyman Young, 40