Three Members and Associates of the Westside Crips Criminal Street Gang Sentenced to Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Sex Trafficking, Narcotics Trafficking, and Other Crimes
Assistant U. S. Attorneys Alessandra P. Serano (202) 252-5843 or Joseph Orabona (619) 546-7951
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 8, 2018
SAN DIEGO – Two gang members of the Westside Crips and one hotel manager of two national brand hotels in Oceanside were sentenced last week for their participation in a racketeering conspiracy involving sex trafficking, narcotics trafficking, and other violent crimes.
Richard Cleveland (aka “Face”), Michael Sullivan (aka “Du-Low”), and Umesh Oza (aka “Kevin”), previously admitted their respective membership and association with the Westside Crips, who primarily operated in Oceanside and elsewhere. Last week, United States District Judge John A. Houston sentenced Cleveland to 57 months in prison, sentenced Sullivan to 36 months in prison, and Oza, a hotel manager for two national brand hotel chains, to 4 months in prison and 180 days of home detention. Three other co-defendants – Ameer Roby aka “Tiny Dum”, Peter Miranda aka “Lil’ Burger”, Shane Anderson aka “Tiny West” and Larry Monroe - are scheduled for sentencing for later this month.
According to court documents, the members of the conspiracy were involved in drug trafficking, prostitution, attempted murder, assaults, and robberies. Their criminal activity primarily occurred between 2004 through February 2017. 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. But as members, associates, and facilitators of criminal street gangs such as these, join forces and become more sophisticated and prolific in their illicit business pursuits, this statute is an effective tool to address all aspects of the criminal conduct.
In furtherance of the RICO conspiracy, Sullivan admitted he engaged in an aggravated assault using a semi-automatic firearm on two suspected juvenile rival gang members in 2004. More recently, Sullivan admitted to promoting prostitution of adult females between 2013 and 2016. Sullivan also admitted to possessing methamphetamine for sale. Moreover, to further his role in the RICO conspiracy, Cleveland admitted he engaged in drug trafficking and promotion of prostitution of adult females between 2015 and 2016. His drug trafficking activity also involved the sale of methamphetamine.
Oza admitted that as the manager of two motels located in Oceanside, California, he further the RICO conspiracy by allowing members of the Westside Crips to utilize the motels for their criminal activity. In particular, Oza admitted that he allowed members, whom he believed were pimps working for the criminal enterprise, to rent rooms to adult females acting as prostitutes.
January marks National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. President Trump recently remarked in a nation press release:
Human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of exploitation. It has no place in our world. This month we do not simply reflect on this appalling reality. We also pledge to do all in our power to end the horrific practice of human trafficking that plagues innocent victims around the world.
“Gang members and associates and those who assist them continue to plague our community with sex trafficking, violence, drugs and other crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Adam L. Braverman. “Our office will continue to use any and all resources to combat the problem.”
DEFENDANTS Case Number 17cr0270-JAH
Richard Cleveland aka “Face” Age: 37 Oceanside, CA
Michael Sullivan aka “Du-Low” Age: 33 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
North County Narcotics Task Force
Drug Enforcement Administration
Oceanside Police Department
Internal Revenue Service