Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alessandra P. Serano (202) 252-5843 or Joseph Orabona (619) 546-7951
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 4, 2019
SAN DIEGO – Westside Crips gang member William McKinley Bright today became the last of 12 defendants to plead guilty, admitting that he participated in a racketeering conspiracy involving narcotics trafficking, sex trafficking and other violent crimes.
Bright, aka “Slim,” admitted to his membership and association with the Westside Crips, which primarily operated in Oceanside. Sentencing for Bright is scheduled for May 3, 2019.
In furtherance of the RICO conspiracy, Bright admitted he engaged in multiple narcotics transactions at a local hotel in Oceanside as well as other places in San Diego and Vista, in order to promote the Westside Crips. Bright admittedly sold gram-quantities of methamphetamine between October 2014 and May 2015. Bright also acknowledged that he was an active and productive member of the Westside Crips who promoted the gang through use of social media as well as wearing gang colors and displaying gang signs. Bright admitted that the conspiracy in which he was involved resulted in the distribution of at least 150 grams but less than 500 grams of methamphetamine in San Diego County.
In 2017 and 2018, Bright’s coconspirators pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy. They include: Corey Deshawn Austin (aka “Westwood”), Ameer Fareed Roby (aka “Tiny Dum Dum”), Michael Anthony Sullivan (aka “Du-Low”), Peter Andrew Miranda (aka “Fat Boy,” “Baby Rocks,” and “Lil’ Burger”), Shane Robert Anderson (aka “Tiny Westwood”), Jasiri Malcolm Lacey (aka “Baby Westwood”), Demetrius Montre McFarland (aka Mechii Ruu”), Travion McHenry (aka “Too Much”), Richard Cleveland (aka “Face”), Larry Darnell Monroe, and Umesh Oza (aka “Kevin”) pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy. All but Corey Deshawn Austin were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from 4 months to 180 months. Austin is scheduled to be sentenced on March 1, 2019.
“Because of the diligence of investigators and prosecutors, a dozen violent gang members are in prison and no longer a threat to our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer Jr., who praised the efforts of multiple agencies who worked together for maximum impact. “We will use all of our legal resources to release our neighborhoods from the grips of gangs that peddle drugs and violence.”
“Drugs corrupt. Corruption leads to addiction, greed and violence. Utilizing one of the USA’s most powerful tools against violent criminal organizations like the Westside Crips, a RICO conspiracy, united law enforcement agencies banish and destroy whole organizations,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “It isn’t easy, it isn’t quick and it takes an incredible amount of work. But, it is the strongest message that can be sent to organized crime. It might not be today or tomorrow, but we are relentless. We will come for you and when you are gone, our streets will be safer and our communities stronger.”
“The guilty plea announced today provides a window into a criminal enterprise that appeared willing to do anything and everything illegal to make a profit,” stated IRS Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson. “The role of IRS Criminal Investigation in narcotics and human trafficking investigations is to follow the money so we can financially disrupt and dismantle these major drug trafficking organizations and protect our communities from the violent behavior of these malicious street gangs.”
“The Oceanside Police Department would like to thank the U.S. Attorney's Office and other law enforcement agencies for their collaboration and hard work during this operation. It is collective efforts like this that highlight why the San Diego region is a model for other law enforcement agencies to emulate, to keep their communities safe,” said Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy.
This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
DEFENDANT Case Number 17cr0270-JAH
William McKinley Bright, aka “Slim” Age: 53 Oceanside, CA
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d) - Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity; Title 18, United States Code, Section 1963 - Criminal Forfeiture Maximum Penalties: 20 years’ incarceration, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release
North County Narcotics Task Force
Drug Enforcement Administration
Oceanside Police Department
Internal Revenue Service