Detectives and agents from the Narcotics Task Force, Oceanside Police Department and other agencies indicted 11 gang members and one hotel manager from Oceanside on Friday with a racketeering conspiracy.
Five of the defendants were already in custody, but five were arrested in North County and another caught in Mexico. One defendant is still at large, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The suspects were indicted with a racketeering conspiracy for trafficking narcotics and prostitution, as well as assaults, robberies and attempted murder.
They are all allegedly associated with the Westside Crips, a street gang that primarily operates in Oceanside.
The hotel manager was in charge of two national brand hotels in Oceanside, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He allegedly allowed the gang members and associates to pursue their activities on his property.
This is not the first time an Oceanside hotel has been involved with gang activities.
In 2011, 38 individuals were indicted for racketeering conspiracy in association with the Oceanside Crip enterprise and one hotel.
Racketeering conspiracy is typically a crime statute for crime organizations and mobsters, and the group’s collaboration allows them to be charged this way, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In the past, San Diego’s Regional Task Forces have worked with hotel communities to track and stop illicit activities such as drug and human trafficking, but this incident is not expected to damage hotel and police relations, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serano.
“I suspect that folks who want to be aware of human trafficking will continue to do so,” said Serano, “and I hope that this will bring to their attention this is still an important issue.”
This is the fourth time the Southern California U.S. Attorney’s Office has used the racketeering statute to charge gang members, associates and facilitators.
“Today’s enforcement actions mark the beginning of the end for the Westside Crip street gang,” said IRS Criminal Investigations Agent Anthony Orlando to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The maximum sentence for racketeering conspiracy is 20 years.