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Stronger Penalties For Gang-Related Crimes Proposed By San Diego Law Makers

A bill co-sponsored by San Diego-area lawmakers to add pimping, pandering and human trafficking to a list of crimes associated with street gangs will receive its first vetting by an Assembly committee next week.

Assembly Bill 918 amends a list of 33 offenses that increase penalties for gang-related crimes, Assemblyman Marty Block, D-Bonita, said at a news conference. Sen. Mark Wyland, R-San Diego, is sponsoring the legislation in the state Senate.

Gang members are recruiting teenage girls for prostitution in schools and "selling them over and over," Block said. Where drugs can only be sold once, girls are a "renewable resource for gangs," he said.

Street gangs are making about as much money from prostitution as they are from selling drugs or weapons, and hybrid gangs have formed solely to reap in the profits, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said.

Sheriff Bill Gore said that since 2007, a task force created to combat the problem has arrested 164 pimps, 44 percent of whom are gang members. Of the 372 female victims, about 30 percent were minors, he said.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob said her eyes were opened to the problem last year during a ride-along with the sheriff's department for a curfew sweep in Spring Valley.

Of the 30 juveniles picked up during the sweep, nearly all were girls.

"They were on the streets working -- and they weren't working for themselves," Jacob said. "They were working for their pimps. The pimps were gang members."

Such stories should dissuade people from the idea that prostitution is a victimless crime, Gore said. In cases like these, it amounts to "despicable criminal activity," the sheriff said.

The bill goes before the Assembly Public Safety Committee in Sacramento on Tuesday and, if eventually passed by the Legislature, could reach the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown by September or October, Block said.

Comments

Avatar for user 'EugeneDavidovich'

EugeneDavidovich | April 9, 2011 at 6:44 p.m. ― 3 years, 5 months ago

As District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has undermined the health and safety of the most vulnerable citizens in San Diego. She has arrested, prosecuted, raided and harassed medical marijuana patients for years. She has been responsible for years of abusive practices and intimidation tactics against others in the San Diego Community and spends more money investigating poor people on welfare than she does prosecuting criminals. She has dinancially and politically supported anti-gay candidates and has turned her back on her own community.

Help spread the word about NOT DUMANIS and protect San Diego from the Dumanis reign of terror. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Not-Dumanis-San-Diego-Citizens-Against-Bonnie-Dumanis-for-Mayor-in-2012/129674723757629

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Avatar for user 'Roberto Rolando Salinas'

Roberto Rolando Salinas | November 26, 2012 at 1:57 p.m. ― 1 year, 9 months ago

The District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis has a very serious credibility problem, as made evident during her mayoral race, and the rabid criticism of Bob Filner. She has committed serious flaws of judgement prioritizing cases to be tried by conviction outcomes. She proudly claims that she has the highest prosecution convictions of any the states DA's. She has tried murder suspects that were latter released and judged to be not guilty, she has failed to arrest and prosecute a husband that later killed his wife.

Sheriff Bill Gore seems to believe that lying or not disclosing the usage or number of drones owned by the Sheriff's department is considered to be the public's right to know. That kind of obfuscation should not be permitted by the San Diego taxpayers, he knows better. Both cases reflect the Republican mentality that the voters soundly rejected, lets hope that they too will soon be holding their farewell parties.

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