Photo credit: Alexander Nguyen

A federal indictment unsealed Friday in San Diego charges members of a gang with ties in Oceanside in a racketeering conspiracy involving drug trafficking, prostitution and other crimes.

A total of 11 alleged gang members and associates and the manager of two national brand hotels in Oceanside are facing charges.

Detectives and federal agents arrested five people in North County and one person in New Mexico. One defendant remains at large and five others already were in state custody and will be transferred to federal custody.

The indictment alleges that the defendants are associated with the Westside Crips, a criminal street gang that operates primarily in Oceanside.

According to the indictment and other court documents, the members of the conspiracy were involved in drug trafficking, prostitution, attempted murder, assaults and robberies. The acts date back to 2004 and continued up to last year.

The court documents state members of the Westside Crips are akin to a crime family, where all members work together committing crimes to make money. The indictment alleges that the defendants took on different responsibilities within the criminal enterprise. Some sold narcotics while others managed prostitutes and transported them across the country.

The hotel manager provided a safe haven for the alleged gang members to conduct their illegal activities, authorities said. For that reason, the defendants are charged with racketeering conspiracy — the statute traditionally used for organized-crime syndicates and mobsters.

This is the fourth time the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego has used the racketeering statute to charge large numbers of gang members, associates and facilitators with operating a criminal enterprise that included drugs, human trafficking and violence.

— City News Service

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