Forty-nine people have been arrested in raids across Bakersfield targeting the West Side Crips gang. About 20 federal and state agencies joined local police, CHP and Sheriff’s deputies during Operation Blind Mice on Tuesday.

Police Chief Lyle Martin says he started the investigation after the drive-by shooting that killed five-year-old Kason Guyton in February as he rode in a rival gang member’s car. Martin says they started wiretapping the gang 10 months before the raids, which helped stop a huge attack planned at Martin Luther King Park in September.

Four men caught up in those raids have been charged with shooting a man to death outside Martini’s Lounge on Real Road. Skylor Billings, Daniel Willis and Gary Pierson were arrested for murder while Gary Clayton is charged with being an accessory. 50-year-old Edwin Smith was killed in September.

Other suspects face murder, drug, burglary, prostitution and money laundering charges.

Kelli Pierce, Chuck Alan and Suzanne Grant