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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 10, 2017

Members and Associates of the Westside Crips and Hotel Manager Indicted in Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Drug Trafficking, Prostitution and Other Crimes

Assistant U. S. Attorneys Alessandra P. Serano (619) 546-8104 or Joseph Orabona (619) 546-7951

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – February 10, 2017

 

SAN DIEGO – Eleven alleged gang members and associates of the Westside Crips street gang and the manager of two national brand hotels in Oceanside are charged in a federal grand jury indictment with participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving narcotics trafficking, prostitution and other crimes.

 

Early this morning, detectives and agents from the Narcotics Task Force, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Oceanside Police Department, with assistance from other agencies, made five arrests in North County and one in New Mexico. One defendant remained at large at midday; five were already in state custody and will be transferred to federal custody.

 

Some of the local defendants are scheduled to make their first court appearances today at 2 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major and Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew G. Schopler.

 

The indictment, unsealed today, alleges that the defendants are associated with the Westside Crips, a criminal street gang that primarily operates in Oceanside. According to the indictment and other court documents, the members of the conspiracy were involved in drug trafficking, prostitution, attempted murder, assaults and robberies. The acts alleged date back to 2004 and continue to up to 2016.

 

According to court documents, members of Westside Crips are akin to a crime family, where all members work together committing various crimes for the purpose of making money. The indictment alleges that the defendants took on different responsibilities within the criminal enterprise. Some sold narcotics. Others managed prostitutes and transported them all over the country. The hotel manager provided a safe haven for the alleged gang members to conduct their illegal activities. For that reason, the defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy—the statute traditionally used for organized-crime syndicates and mobsters.

 

This is the fourth time the U.S. Attorney’s office here has used the racketeering statute to charge large numbers of gang members, associates, and facilitators with operating a criminal enterprise that included drugs, human trafficking, and violence. In the first case, 39 Oceanside gang members and associates were charged with racketeering, and, to date, 35 have pleaded guilty. The second case involved gangs in North Park; that case is pending, with 21 guilty pleas so far and two guilty verdicts after a jury trial in July 2016. The third case involved 22 defendants as members and associates of the Tycoons street gang. To date, all 22 defendants in that case have pleaded guilty.

 

“This case, along with many others like it in our district, demonstrates that human and drug trafficking by criminal street gangs is rampant,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana Robinson. “Not only are we targeting the traffickers and customers, but we are also going after the businesses that facilitate this type of gang activity.”

 

“The members of the criminal street gang that were arrested today face serious charges,” said DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William Sherman. “It is critical to the safety of our citizens to get these violent drug traffickers off the streets.”

 

“The Oceanside Police Department continues to be committed to fighting gang crime and gang activity in our City,” said Chief Frank S. McCoy. “The arrests today are an example of our commitment to utilize law enforcement agencies at all levels to help us to that end. I am very proud of all the hard teamwork and commitment our officers and the other law enforcement agencies had in this operation to make it such a success.”

 

“Today's enforcement actions mark the beginning of the end for the Westside Crip street gang,” said IRS Criminal Investigation’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony J. Orlando. “Our agency plays a unique role in federal law enforcement’s resolve to dismantle the criminal gang enterprises terrorizing our streets. Our agents target the profit and financial gains of these organizations, following the money in an effort to disrupt these organizations and bring their members to justice.”

 

DEFENDANTS Case Number 17cr0270-JAH

Corey Austin aka Westwood Age: 36 Oceanside, CA

William Bright aka “Slim” Age: 51 Oceanside, CA

Ameer Roby aka “Tiny Dum” Age: 36 Oceanside, CA

Michael Sullivan aka “Du-Low” Age: 33 Oceanside, CA

Peter Miranda aka “Lil’ Burger” Age: 33 Oceanside, CA

Shane Anderson aka “Tiny West” Age: 25 Oceanside, CA

Jasiri Lacey aka “Baby West” Age: 25 Oceanside, CA

Demetrius McFarland aka “Mecchi Ruu” Age: 23 Oceanside, CA

Travion McHenry aka “2Much” Age: 25 Oceanside, CA

Richard Cleveland aka “Face” Age: 37 Oceanside, CA

Larry Monroe Age: 59 Oceanside, CA

Umesh Oza aka “Kevin” Age: 32 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

 

AGENCIES

 

North County Narcotics Task Force

Drug Enforcement Administration

Oceanside Police Department

Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation

U.S. Marshal’s Service

 

*The charges and allegations contained in an indictment or complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 
CAS17-0210-Austin
Updated February 10, 2017