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Gang accused of scams, pimping

OCEANSIDE — The results of an extensive, 18-month multi-agency gang investigation find sex trafficking of minors and adults, kidnapping and attempted murder to be some of the racketeering acts that various members of the Oceanside Crips have been charged with, as announced on April 18 by the United States Attorney’s Office.
An indictment was unsealed that charged 38 individuals and one company, the Oceanside Travelodge hotel, with “conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s statement.
“The indictment also alleges the criminal forfeiture of the Oceanside Travelodge hotel,” according to the release.
The defendants are charged with using a corrupt enterprise to perform the racketeering activity, which also includes drug trafficking, prostitution and other gang-related crimes.
The indictment — or formal written statement by the prosecuting party — claims that senior members of the Oceanside Crips enterprise had directed and controlled activities of members with less seniority, and did so even from prison.
The activities on the statement include promoting and managing prostitution in San Diego County that operated within a strict set of rules that had consequences for violators, which included punishments such as physical abuse or public humiliation.
The statement also alleges that the Oceanside Crips enterprise (which is comprised of three sets of gangs that are primarily based in Oceanside) has been focusing its for-profit criminal activity in recent years on pimping and prostituting juvenile and adult females in Oceanside and other locations in North San Diego County and throughout the United States.
United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy said in the indictment that the Crips enterprise used its pimps and trusted prostitutes for online recruitment by using various social networking websites, including MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
The government seizure of the hotel stems from the investigation that alleges that two people and one LLC who own and run the Oceanside Travelodge allowed enterprise members to rent rooms, with the knowledge of illegal activity. It also alleges that the pair housed people for enterprise activities in specific areas and rooms at the hotel so they were segregated from legitimate customers. They are also charged with occasions of warning enterprise members and its associates of law enforcement activity.
According to the summary of charges, the maximum penalties for Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity; Title 18, United States Code, Section 1963 – Criminal Forfeiture include: 20 years’ incarceration, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release.