March 08, 2019
Contact: Kameron Korte
Phone Number: (858) 616-4100
Westside Crips gang members sentenced to 82 months for aggravating role in racketeering conspiracy
SAN DIEGO – A leader of the Westside Crips was sentenced to 82 months in prison on March 7, 2019 for his aggravating role in a racketeering conspiracy involving sex trafficking, narcotics trafficking and other violent crimes as well as possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.
According to court records, Corey DeShawn Austin, aka “Westwood,” admitted to his membership and association with the Westside Crips, which primarily operated in Oceanside, CA and elsewhere. Austin pleaded guilty to RICO Conspiracy and Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances on August 31, 2018.
“One of the top priorities for the DEA in San Diego is dismantling criminal street gangs that profit by selling sex and drugs in our community. The profit, cold hard cash, in turn fuels the violence on our streets,” said Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “DEA will continue to target and put away criminal street gang members like Mr. Austin because it makes San Diego County a safer place to live.”
In furtherance of these crimes, Austin, the lead defendant, admitted he engaged in promoting prostitution of adult females between 2013 and 2015, including while he was in state custody for another offense. Austin further admitted he possessed narcotics for sale in 2013. Austin also admitted he promoted the Westside Crips during the RICO conspiracy through photos posted of himself throwing up gang signs and wearing gang colors showing his allegiance to Westside Crips on social media between 2013 and 2016.
At sentencing, the parties disputed whether Austin had an aggravating role in the RICO conspiracy – a finding that would mean a longer sentence. After hearing testimony from the government and defense expert witnesses at an evidentiary hearing on March 4, 2019, and reviewing the submissions by the parties, U.S. District Judge John A. Houston ruled yesterday that Austin had an aggravating role in the conspiracy because the testimony and evidence proved that he managed, supervised, and directed the criminal activity conducted by other members of the Westside Crips. Judge Houston noted that Austin’s conduct was particularly aggravating because he was managing, supervising and directing other gang members while he was in prison, using a contraband prison cell phone.
Austin was charged in 2017 as part of a larger investigation involving twelve other members of the Westside Crips Criminal Enterprise. The remaining defendant, William Bright, has a sentencing hearing on May 13, 2019.
This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high-level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
Oceanside Police Department, Internal Revenue Service, United States Attorney's Office