The San Diego police arrested over fifty gang members in late April for their role in the West Coast Crips. Here are a few of the charges those arrested might face and links to better understand each of the specific crimes and possible defenses to the crimes, courtesy of Mira Mesa gang crime lawyer Peter M. Liss.
The West Coast Crips are one of San Diego’s oldest and largest gangs, surviving for over 30 years and containing several hundred members. The arrests of the fifty gang members relates both to San Diego gang crime investigations and three, detailed, long-running, federal conspiracy investigations.
Seventeen people are going to be charged with participating in an enterprise responsible for five murders, numerous attempted murders, high speed car chases, armed robberies, prostitution, money laundering and the importation and distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. If the conspiracy charges stick, these defendants will likely face life sentences in prison, which is why those accused of this conspiracy should seek the help of a Carmel Valley federal crimes lawyer as soon as possible.
Twelve people will be charged with a second conspiracy, which involved using students from El Cajon Valley High School to smuggle meth across the U.S. border. While these charges vary based on the amount of drugs being smuggled, generally speaking, every person charged with this conspiracy will be facing at least ten years in prison.
The last federal conspiracy charge is being brought up against six gang members who have been accused of trafficking meth and firearms. The sentence for both of these crimes varies based on the quantity involved, but it is likely these defendants will face sentences of at least twenty years in prison.
Another twenty two gang members will be facing state charges for robbery, drug sales, illegal firearm possession and sales. These defendants will likely also face gang crime enhancements and many of those convicted will likely have a strike added to their record, which for some of them, could be a third strike, meaning they will risk going to prison for life if they are found guilty. It is also possible the prosecutors will choose to charge some of the defendants with crimes such as drive-by shootings, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia.
All of the defendants are adults, so none of them can hope for lighter juvenile sentences. Because the charges are so serious and conspiracy charges allow for each person to be tried for each crime even if they weren’t directly involved with it, their San Diego criminal defense lawyers will have a hard time fighting these charges.
It is possible that the Carmel Valley defense attorneys for some of these gang members will negotiate a plea bargain to minimize their client’s sentence in exchange for their client’s testimony against other members of his gang, but that remains to be seen.
If you or someone you know is accused of any type of gang-related activity, Solana Beach criminal lawyer Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Creative Commons Image by Rynerson Bail Bonds