SAN DIEGO, CA—United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging 38 individuals and one Limited Liability Company (LLC) with conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity (RICO). Specifically, the defendants are charged with using a corrupt enterprise to conduct a pattern of racketeering activity, namely, prostitution of minors and adults, use of facilities of interstate commerce to promote prostitution, drug trafficking, and other gang-related crimes. The charged racketeering activity stems from an extensive, 18 month, multi-agency gang investigation entitled Operation Vice Grip in Oceanside, California and surrounding North County areas. In addition to the criminal charges, the indictment also alleges the criminal forfeiture of the Oceanside Travelodge hotel.
According to the indictment, the defendants are charged as members, associates, and facilitators of the Oceanside Crip enterprise (“Oceanside Crips”) composed of various Crip gang “sets,” including the “Insane Crip Gang,” “Deep Valley Crips” and “Crook, Mob, Gangsters.” All three Crip sets are based primarily in Oceanside, and over the last several years have cooperated and interacted to the point that traditional gang distinctions between them have broken down. Specifically, the indictment alleges that since 2005, members of the Oceanside Crip Enterprise engaged in multiple racketeering acts in furtherance of the enterprise, including, among other things, the sex trafficking of minors and adults; attempted murder; kidnapping; extortion; and the distribution of controlled substances. The enterprise members also worked together to protect, promote, and expand their territory against rival gangs.
The indictment alleges that senior members of the Oceanside Crips enterprise controlled and directed the activities of more junior members, even from prison. The indictment further alleges that defendants identified as “pimps” (a person who befriends, recruits, trains, and/or panders a person for prostitution) and “bottoms” (a pimp’s most trusted/senior prostitute) promoted and managed prostitution activities in San Diego County, California, and elsewhere. As set out in the indictment, the Oceanside Crips enterprise has, in recent years, increasingly focused its for-profit criminal activity on pimping and prostituting adult and juvenile females in Oceanside, California, and elsewhere within northern San Diego County and throughout the United States. To this end, as described in the indictment, gang-controlled prostitution spawned a “pimping” subculture, known as “The Game,” which operates under a set of strictly observed rules, with consequences for individuals who violate them—including, but not limited to, physical abuse and/or public humiliation.
As alleged in the indictment, the majority of the defendants named in the indictment collaborated with one another as members, associates, and facilitators of the enterprise to carry out prostitution activities, primarily in and around low-cost motels in North County, including the Oceanside Travelodge. As detailed in the indictment, Oceanside Crips Enterprise members and associates also worked together to recruit new prostitutes. Recruitment efforts generally focused on vulnerable juvenile females who were runaways or from broken homes. Furthermore, as detailed in the indictment, Enterprise “pimps” and “bottoms” conducted extensive online recruitment via various social networking websites, including MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter.
As alleged, upon recruiting prostitutes, enterprise “pimps” routinely provided them with controlled substances and alcohol in order to manipulate their loyalty and increase productivity as related to prostitution. Once these victims became dependent on the “pimp,” Enterprise members sometimes sold, traded or “gifted” them to other “pimps.”
United States Attorney Duffy said, “The indictment unsealed today targets a growing problem in San Diego County and across the country—street gangs like the Crips expanding traditional gang activities (drug trafficking and violent crime) to include prostitution. I cannot state this more emphatically: I regard the kind of prostitution involved in this case, including the trafficking of children via the Internet, social networking sites, and local businesses, as a form of modern-day slavery to which every available law enforcement resource will be applied. I commend the work of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners for their dedication and commitment to this case.”
Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter commented, “We are committed to disrupting the operation of violent and threatening street gangs in San Diego County and will relentlessly pursue those who traffic and exploit vulnerable juveniles. Cooperation among law enforcement agencies is critical to identifying, disrupting, and dismantling the organized criminal enterprises that perpetrate these crimes and stopping the cycle of victimization.”
“The sex trafficking of women and children is a particularly heinous crime and cannot be tolerated in our communities,” said Michael Carney, Acting Special Agent in Charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. “This investigation sounds an alarm and puts a spot light on organized criminal gang activities in our own backyard. We must continue to work at all levels of law enforcement, local, state, and federal because that is the key to dismantling and destroying sex trafficking rings at home and abroad. Our goal is to not only prevent the spreading of this modern day form of slavery, but to wipe it out in every form where it exists.”
Among those charged with facilitating the enterprise’s prostitution activities are two individuals and one LLC who own and operate the Oceanside Travelodge. Specifically, as alleged in the indictment, Hitesh Patel and Vinod Patel, acting on behalf of Gayatri Investments, LLC, facilitated and allowed enterprise members and associates to rent rooms at the Oceanside Travelodge, using other people’s identification, with the knowledge of the illegal activity that would occur in those room and, occasionally, understanding that payment would be made following performance of “dates” or “tricks.” The indictment alleges that the Patels housed persons to carry out enterprise activities in specific areas and rooms within the hotel so that these persons were segregated from legitimate customers. Furthermore, as alleged in the indictment, the Patels also commonly charged, and enterprise members and associates paid, higher room rates in exchange for permitting the enterprise’s prostitution activities to be conducted at the Travelodge. Finally, as charged in the indictment, the Patels at times facilitated the enterprise by warning enterprise members and associates of law enforcement activity or inquiries.
This case is the product of an investigation by officers and agents of the Oceanside Police Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement- Homeland Security Investigations, and the Escondido Police Department.
Case No. 11CR1448-MMA
Rodeny Dwight Traylor (1) - Age 23
Malcolm Ninex Traylor (2) - Age 20
George Digemon Anderson (3) - Age 39
Adam Cassanova Anderson (4) - Age 35
Luis Abdul Gordon (5) - Age 23
Devon Leonte Sutton (6) - Age 23
Marcus Laron Ingram (7) - Age 22
Deshawn Andrew Ingram (8) - Age 18
Deshawn Travis Turner (9) - Age 21
Leo Allen Sutton (10) - Age 26
Juan Anthony Antonetty (11) - Age 23
Lamont Montel Grove (12) - Age 19
Michael David Washington (13) - Age 22
Stephen Adam Board (14) - Age 20
Ama Bahati Bernard (15) - Age 26
Darron Jerome Hamilton, Jr. (16) - Age 22
Anthony Jamal Samuels (17) - Age 20
Jack Donald Bivens (18) - Age 24
Christopher Michael Foreman (19) - Age 24
James Anthony Brown (20) - Age 38
Zachary Hayes (21) - Age 21
Patrick Dairmar Gladney (22) - Age 21
Hector Salgado (23) - Age 21
Deonte Marquis Lenin (24) - Age 21
Austin Andrew Clay (25) - Age 20
Teddie B. Marshall (26) - Age 23
Gauthier Kambanda (27) - Age 22
Hosea Quinten Harris (28) - Age 21
Dominique Cortez Little (29) - Age 21
Miyako Danielle Traylor (30) - Age 22
Tricia Marie Griffith (31) - Age 22
Jenifer Lynn Furch (32) - Age 24
Lindsey Clemmons (33) - Age 22
Regta Inocencio Villareal (34) - Age 32
Brittany Lorraine Green (35) - Age 21
Joshua Christian Salazar (36) - Age 24
Vinod N. Patel (37) - Age 60
Hitesh Vinod Patel (38) - Age 27
Gayatri Investments, LLC (39)
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.
Oceanside Police Department
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
Escondido Police Department
An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.