From Law Enforcement
Mexican DTOs dominate the production of high-potency marijuana in the CBAG region; they typically establish large-scale, outdoor cannabis grow sites on public lands and private ranches throughout the area. According to law enforcement and intelligence reporting, Mexican DTOs and criminal groups in the CBAG region are using new cultivation methods that produce a plant ready for harvest within 90 days of planting. Accordingly, the number of plants eradicated from outdoor grow sites in San Diego County increased over 31 percent from 2006 to 2007.
Mexican DTOs employ commercial and private aircraft as well as rail services to transport illicit drugs into and from the CBAG region. Drug traffickers transport drug shipments as air freight through the San Diego International Airport and the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, California, or by couriers aboard passenger flights. Low-flying private aircraft use numerous privately owned "soft surface" runways in San Diego and Imperial Counties as they attempt to avoid radar detection while smuggling drugs into the region. Additionally, law enforcement reporting reveals that Mexican DTOs use commercial and passenger rail service to transport and distribute drugs to the CBAG region and throughout the United States. Mexican DTOs conceal illegal drugs in railcars that originate from the interior of Mexico. The railcars are stopped for inspection in Calexico, California, as they cross into the United States from Mexicali, Mexico, but inspectors generally do not have sufficient time to conduct more than a cursory inspection before the railcars must depart the inspection area. Once railcars clear the inspection area, they typically sit for a few hours at the Calexico rail yard before proceeding to subsequent destinations. At this point, illicit drugs are generally offloaded by traffickers--spotters relay the location of drug-laden railcars to other traffickers, who approach the railcars and abscond with the drugs.
Also see: http://www.sdihidta.org/
And see this:
Alleged Gang Members and Associates Indicted in Cross-Country Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
U.S. Attorney’s Office
December 11, 2014
Southern District of California
SAN DIEGO—Twenty—two alleged gang members and associates are charged in a federal grand jury indictment with participating in a racketeering conspiracy involving the cross-country sex trafficking of underage girls, including many who were recruited from East County middle and high schools.
Early this morning detectives and agents from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI, with assistance from other agencies, made 14 arrests and served 11 search warrants here and in Hemet, California; Tucson, Arizona, and Austin, Texas. Just one defendant remained at large at midday; seven were already in state custody. Some of the local defendants are scheduled to make their first court appearances tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruben Brooks.
The indictment, unsealed today, alleges that the defendants are associated with a relatively new gang formed in 2008 called “Tycoons,” which, until this morning, operated a nationwide prostitution enterprise primarily from its base in Lemon Grove and Spring Valley.
According to the indictment and other court documents, the enterprise was also involved in other crimes such as attempted murder, assaults, drug trafficking, robberies, residential and commercial burglaries, and beatings, intimidation and threats of violence against female victims, witnesses in criminal cases and members of the community.
Over the course of the two-year investigation, law enforcement identified approximately 100 girls and young women—as young as 12 years old, up to the mid-twenties—who were manipulated with promises of a lavish lifestyle or were forced through threats or actual violence to work as prostitutes for the enterprise, according to a search warrant.
Many of them were recruited on school campuses in East County by pimps and experienced, high-ranking prostitutes, the warrant said. During the course of the conspiracy, the girls and women were transported from San Diego County to customers in California and beyond—to Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada and elsewhere, the indictment said.
The defendants allegedly used a number of methods to manipulate the recruits, including false promises of a luxurious lifestyle, intimidation, and actual or threatened violence. Court records indicate that the alleged pimps regularly furnished drugs and alcohol to lower the recruited prostitute’s inhibitions and increase her productivity.
“Victims of sex trafficking are young, just getting started in life,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “They have hopes and dreams of being loved and having beautiful lives ahead of them. Gang members are exploiting these dreams and stealing the souls of children. They are crushing them with false promises that lead to physical and emotional abuse and sexual slavery.”
The ranks of “Tycoons” are mostly made up of documented gang members from gangs all over the county, including the West Coast Crips, Neighborhood Crips, Lincoln Park, Skyline Piru (Eastside Piru), O’Farrell Park, 5/9 Brims, Emerald Hills and Linda Vista Crips. These gang members have a sort of dual membership in Tycoons. Within Tycoons, there are cliques known as PGF, for Playgirl Fantasy; Tycoon/Additup; and BYB, or Break Your Bitch.
According to court documents, members of Tycoons 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 managed prostitutes and transported them all over the country. Some forcefully coerced the girls and young women into prostitution and maintained their obedience and loyalty through acts of violence. Some handled the money. Some placed advertisements to generate business or booked motel rooms in which acts of prostitution took place; and others distributed drugs and committed other crimes.
For that reason, the defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy—the statute traditionally used for organized-crime syndicates and mobsters. But as 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.
This is the third time the U.S. attorney’s office here has used the racketeering statute to charge large numbers of gang members with operating a criminal enterprise that included drugs, human trafficking, and violence. In the first case, 39 Oceanside gang members and associates were charged with racketeering, and, to date, 35 have pleaded guilty. The second involved gangs in North Park; that case is pending, with three guilty pleas so far.
The investigation began as a result of information provided by members of the East County community who saw troubling signs and reported them. Duffy said she is encouraged that community members came together to address this problem.
“They did not look the other way,” Duffy said. “They saw signs of trouble, and they reported it. As a result, girls and young women exploited in this case have been extended a path from misery to safety, and we have started on a path to end this criminal enterprise.”
“This investigation was initiated through the vigilance of parents and school resource officers,” commented Sheriff Bill Gore. “Local, state, and federal law enforcement will always collaborate and bring to bear all resources available, when the safety of our youth is at stake. I’m very proud of the work done today, and during the entire course of this matter.”
“This investigation pulls back the curtain on a growing threat involving sexual exploitation occurring in plain sight,” said Joe Garcia, interim special agent in charge for HSI in San Diego. “As part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign, HSI agents are committed to combating human trafficking in collaboration with our law enforcement partners. In doing so, we need the public’s assistance in reporting suspicious activity, which is even more critical when the targets involve our local area teenagers.”
“Exploiting and harming America’s children through sex trafficking is a serious crime with detrimental effects to the victims and our communities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge, Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners in cases like this and our Operation Cross Country initiative where we have rescued over 3,600 children from the grips of sex traffickers and hold them accountable.”
Criminal Case No: 14cr3537BAS
James Terelle King, 23
Michael Dean Richardson, 21
Andrew Damon Richardson, 22
Brian Keith Scott, 22
Alondre Shamil Dickerson, 20
Anthony Robert Dennison, 22
Keyon Renta Gill, 30
Donavyn Keith Dove, 21
Ryan Mcintoch Izumi, 22
William Henry Mitchell, 23
Jordan Renee Mitchell, 21
David Michael Stokes, 21
Christian Darwin Wilcox, 21
Marquis Dominique Davis, 21
Cortes Tizzaro Prater, 23
Emmanuel Gumataotao Farol, 20
Donald Mickey Stokes, 21
Wiley Junius Greeno, 23
Deija Renee Lamb, 19
Joseph Benjamin Taylor, 21
Frank Gibson III, 20
Christal Marie Torres, 24
SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Conspiracy to Commit RICO in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. 1962(d); Maximum Penalties: Life in prison, $250,000 fine, up to life of supervised release.
San Diego County Sheriff’s Department
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
Federal Bureau of Investigation
*An indictment or complaint 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.
*For visuals from the press conference, see http://www.justice.gov/usao/cas/press/news.html
This content has been reproduced from its original source. - http://www.justice.gov/usao/cas/
From the Media
Sex Trafficking Overtakes Drugs As San Diego County Gang’s Top Cash Source
Monday, January 27, 2014
By Amita Sharma
The paradox of boys joining San Diego gangs to be tough men is they’re now building mini-empires on the backs of girls. Literally.
“They don’t work hard,” FBI Assistant Special Agent Robert Howe said. "They don’t do anything other than coerce, manipulate and threaten children. A real man would not target a child. A real man would have a good, honest, hardworking job he could be proud of.”
Howe said San Diego’s rival street gangs like the BMS, the Neighborhood Crips and Brim have put aside their differences over turf and drugs, and have struck up alliances to sell women and girls, some as young as 12.
“They’re absolutely a syndicate,” Howe said. “We have noticed an increase in the sex trafficking piece over the drugs. These criminal enterprise street gangs have realized the profit margins are so much bigger.”
It’s a cash-rich business for pimps because the girls and women can be sold and resold daily.
“You have a product that you don’t have to keep in inventory,” San Diego U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said. “You don’t have to purchase it. You don’t have to wait for the money to come back on this product and then buy it from the supplier. You are not as exposed as you are if you are caught with drugs to being caught with a woman or being a girl.”
Smartphones, social media and websites like Backpage.Com have turned two-bit drug gangs into entrepreneurs. They not only track competitors’ tactics but also keep tabs on police investigations too.
A federal indictment against 24 North Park gang members and associates unsealed this month revealed a powerful and sophisticated sex trafficking network across 46 cities and 23 states. Sixty girls were rescued, 11 were under 18.
Duffy said this enterprise underscored the shift in tactics and emphasis on the sex slave trade.
“Some transported the prostitutes around different locations for business,” Duffy said. “Some rented rooms where prostitution took place. Some individuals were the ones responsible for placing ads to generate business. Some individuals actually coerced and forced and did some of the acts of violence and threats against girls.”
Each girl can earn anywhere from $500 to $10,000 a night depending on whether they work the street or an event, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alessandra Serrano said.
Not a penny goes into the girls’ pockets, federal officials say. Since gangs don’t file taxes, federal officials are reluctant to put a number on how much a pimp can earn annually from trafficking.
But FBI agents found flashy cars and clothes during searches in the North Park case. Investigators found thousands of dollars in cash, flat-screen televisions, luxury cars, 50 pairs of Air Jordan shoes and bejeweled pimp cups and pimp sticks among North Park gang members’ belongings, according to the federal indictment. Pimp sticks are used to hit the girls.
Duffy said North Park gang members demeaned them in other ways.
“They gifted these women,” Duffy said. “They traded these women. They sold these women amongst each other. They marked these women like property. They tattooed them. They even barcoded some of these women.”
Prosecutions of gangster pimps have skyrocketed over the last four years. San Diego County prosecutors quadrupled the number of cases they filed between 2009 and last year. On the federal side, prosecutions jumped from two to 22 in the same period. And the feds are using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act to prosecute cases because the penalties are stiffer.
But FBI agent Howe believes child sex trafficking will stop only when people realize it’s a community problem. Many of the girls who end up in the slave trade are runaways and foster children. Howe said many also come from stable family backgrounds but were successfully manipulated by pimps.
“These are not somebody else’s children,” Howe said. “These are our little girls who grew up in our neighborhoods, going to our schools. In some cases, they grew up in our own families.”
San Diego region has become hub of gang-controlled prostitution rings
By TONY PERRY
DECEMBER 20, 2014, 7:02 PM | REPORTING FROM SAN DIEGO
It began with teachers and counselors becoming suspicious.
The same teenage girls were often absent from their classes on Fridays and Mondays. When they came to school, they wore flashy jewelry and provocative clothing and often carried more than one cellphone. Sometimes they had visible bruises.
From those observations came an investigation by the FBI and the Sheriff's Department that led this month to the indictment of 22 suspected gang members and associates on charges of running a multi-state prostitution ring, including seducing underage girls into "the life."
Poster in San Diego
A poster from the California attorney general's office warns about child prostitution rings.
The defendants recruited about 100 girls and young women by promising a lavish lifestyle and emotional support and plying them with alcohol and drugs, federal prosecutors said. When those tactics failed, the pimps used violence, they added.
The operation was centered in Spring Valley and Lemon Grove in eastern San Diego County, according to the indictment. Many of the underage girls attended schools in the Grossmont Union High School District.
Similar indictments in recent years have targeted gangs in Oceanside and the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. More indictments linking gangs and prostitution are anticipated by the U.S. attorney and district attorney.
With drugs and weapons becoming riskier business ventures because of more aggressive law enforcement, gangs have moved into prostitution. The money is easy and the Internet and social media have replaced streetwalking and red-light zones as an effective method of attracting johns, officials said.
"It's absolutely an epidemic, not just in San Diego but across the country," said Robert Howe, assistant special agent in the San Diego office of the FBI.
The San Diego region, for reasons that are unclear, appears to be a dubious leader in this new trend.
A study this year of eight cities by the Washington-based Urban Institute found that, of the eight, San Diego has "the most amount of gang involvement in the underground commercial sex industry."
The study also found that 20% of the prostitutes recruited by gangs are underage and that gangs have developed "a certain level of business savvy and acumen."
The recent indictment alleges that rival gangs that normally use violence to settle disputes over turf and drugs have decided to cooperate in running a prostitution operation. Different gangs have different responsibilities: transportation, recruitment, marketing, etc.
Not satisfied with just being local, the "hybrid gang" was eager to expand its market to other states. Unlike selling drugs or weapons, there is no need in a prostitution business to keep a costly "inventory," and there are plenty of potential employees and customers.
"It's a grotesque version of a legitimate business model," said U.S. Atty. Laura Duffy.
Duffy last week talked to principals and teachers at Grossmont to thank them for their help and also ask that they redouble efforts to watch for telltale signs that gangs are recruiting their students. Also, students should be warned about pimps.
"We have to be dialed in like never before," Duffy said.
With a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the Grossmont district has developed a guidebook for parents and educators, "Human Trafficking in America's Schools." There are discussions about a possible national roll-out of the guidebook next month by high-level officials in Washington.
There are already websites advising would-be pimps on how to apply psychological pressure to persuade girls and women to become prostitutes.
One difficulty in prosecuting prostitution cases is lack of cooperation from the victims. Some will insist they decided to sell sex only to get money to help their boyfriend launch a rap music career.
"They do not self-identify as victims," said Summer Stephan, chief deputy San Diego County district attorney. "They have been so traumatized, they want to believe this is a choice they've made willingly. They live in an altered reality."
According to the recent indictment, 19 men and three women were part of a hybrid gang called Tycoons that sent girls and young women to customers in California, Texas, Arizona, Kansas, Michigan and Nevada.
The Tycoons are also accused of attempted murder, drug trafficking, burglary and robbery, according to the indictment. The 22 face federal charges of conspiracy to engage in racketeering, which can carry a life sentence.
Tycoons members boasted of their prostitution business on Facebook and in freestyle rap songs about prostitution and drugs on YouTube, according to the indictment. Prostitutes were often "branded" with gang tattoos to show they belonged to a specific pimp.
One of the female defendants, who called herself Christal Cash, warned on a Facebook posting that any prostitute who refused to turn over money to her pimp would be beaten, according to the indictment. One defendant allegedly tried to enroll one of his prostitutes in high school to act as a recruiter.
Tycoons members allegedly split into subgroups with names such as Tycoons/Additup and Play Girl Fantasy. Hats and shirts often carried the name of their subgroup, according to the indictment.
A common place to recruit potential prostitutes was the trolley station in Lemon Grove, a gathering spot for young girls, including runaways.
"Gang members are exploiting their dreams and stealing the souls of children," Duffy said.
tony perry at LA Times
copyright 2015, Los Angeles Times
Editor's note to the above: where there are gangs, there will be gangstalking.
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