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Press Release

West Coast Crips Street Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Murders, Sex Trafficking and Robbery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of California

Contact Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd Robinson (619) 546-7994 and David Leshner (619) 546-7921


SAN DIEGO, CA – West Coast Crips gang member Wilbert Ross was sentenced in federal court today to life in prison for his role in a racketeering enterprise involving execution-style murders, a takeover robbery, witness intimidation and sex trafficking.

Ross is the first of four West Coast Crips members to be sentenced following conviction by a federal jury in March. The jury found defendants Ross, Terry Carry Hollins, Jermaine Gerald Cook and Marcus Anthony Foreman guilty of Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity at the conclusion of a five-week trial and about eight hours of deliberations. The jury also found Ross guilty of two counts of sex trafficking.

U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw sentenced Ross to life on the RICO conspiracy count, 10 years for sex trafficking of a minor and 15 years for sex trafficking by force, fraud or coercion.  The judge also ordered Ross to pay $42,803 in restitution resulting from multiple homicides.

Hollins is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday July 27 at 9:30 a.m.; Cook and Foreman are set for sentencing on August 26 at 1 p.m., all before U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw,

The four convicted defendants were arrested and charged in 2014 as part of a larger investigation involving 36 other defendants. Thirty-four have pleaded guilty. One, Cleotha Young, went to trial in June 2015, was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The lead defendant, Randy Graves, was convicted by a jury on April 4, 2016, and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 26 at 9:30am.

“It’s a relief to know that this ruthless gang member will never again bring violence into San Diego neighborhoods,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “This life sentence is a strong signal to gangs that you are not invincible, and you will be held accountable.”

“Today’s life sentence sends a strong message to all gang members who commit acts of violence and threaten the safety of our community,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI will continue to work tirelessly to dismantle violent street gangs that victimize our community.”

The federal racketeering statute known as “RICO” historically has been used to prosecute mobsters and organized crime, but federal prosecutors have been using the statute on street gangs in recent years because the gangs are increasingly acting as organized criminal enterprises.

During this trial, prosecutors set out to show the jury how the defendants worked together as a criminal enterprise to commit six murders, to use a 15-year-old girl and another female as prostitutes, and to commit robbery on behalf of the West Coast Crips.

The government called about 100 witnesses, including several street gang members, a shooting victim, friends and associates of the defendants, representatives from the Medical Examiner’s Office and dozens of San Diego Police Department homicide and gang detectives, police officers and criminalists.

The evidence presented by the government included court-authorized wiretap interceptions and recordings of telephone, cell phone and jailhouse conversations between the defendants and others, as well as cell phone videos of the defendants celebrating their West Coast Crips membership and discussing the crimes they were committing.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Todd Robinson, David Leshner, Jose Castillo and Stephen Wong.

These guilty verdicts are the fruit of the collaborative work of the FBI’s East County Regional Gang Task Force and the Violent Crimes Gang Task Force, the San Diego Police Department’s gang and homicide units; the ATF; the El Cajon Police Department; the La Mesa Police Department; San Diego County Probation; the IRS; U.S. Postal Inspectors; the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department; and the California Highway Patrol.

This investigation was coordinated by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program was created to consolidate and coordinate all law enforcement resources in this country's

battle against major drug trafficking rings, drug kingpins, and money launderers.


Case Number: 14mj1494

Wilbert Ross                                       Age: 32                                   Chula Vista

Terry Carry Hollins                             Age: 33                                   San Diego

Jermaine Gerald Cook                                    Age: 31                                   San Diego

Marcus Anthony Foreman                  Age: 28                                   San Diego


All Defendants:

Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. Section 1962 (d)

Maximum Penalty, based on the underlying racketeering crimes: Up to life in prison.

Defendant Ross:

Sex Trafficking of a Minor, in violation of 18 USC 1591

Maximum Penalty: Life in prison

Sex Trafficking by Force, Fraud or Coercion, in violation of 18 USC 1591

Maximum Penalty: Life in prison


San Diego Police Department Gang and Homicide Units

East County Regional Gang Task Force

Violent Crimes Task Force - Gang Group

Task Force agencies include:


San Diego Police Department


El Cajon Police Department

La Mesa Police Department

San Diego County Probation


U.S. Postal Inspectors

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

California Highway Patrol.


Updated July 20, 2016

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: CAS16-0720-Ross