On 9/6/2016 United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced a major indictment by a federal grand jury of four Sem City gang members in California, taking off the streets a group accused of kidnapping minors for commercial sex, of raping minors while acting in concert, of running an alleged multi-state human trafficking ring, of sowing fear and disrupting life in the East Oakland neighborhood of Seminary and for the murders of six Oakland city police officers.
Sem City Member Jason Beasley
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Alameda County Sheriff's Office and Oakland police department teamed up to use the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for the first time to target members of the Sem City with investigative tools that included shell-casing analysis, stingray cell phone tracking, authorized wiretaps, acoustic gunshot detection technology, DNA technology using the FBI's CODIS database, years long undercover stake-outs, public cctv camera monitoring, and cellphone and social media monitoring.
The 'Sem City' Indictment (Courtesy: Justice.GOV)
“Nothing tears at the fabric of a community like fear,” Alameda County DA Nancy O'Malley told the grand jury at a criminal trial about four gang members who face charges of attempted murder, rape while acting in concert, kidnapping, pimping of minors under 16yrs, torture, assault w/deadly weapon not firearm, and assault with a dangerous weapon.
“The business of the 'Sem City' is violence. RICO allows targeted prosecution of a criminal enterprise.”
According to court documents, all four men belong to the "Sem City." They had united to retaliate against their enemies, make more money selling drugs, rape minors, pimp minors under 16-yrs, torture minors, cause / persuade minors to engage in commercial sex trafficking and meet their goal of becoming “the most feared criminal street gang in Oakland,” court documents said.
Four 'Sem City' Members Charged
Because of that, O'Malley told to the grand jury, all four members of the Sem City are being federally charged under an organized crime statute called RICO, or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
RICO allows prosecutors to widen the net and to indict people as members of a criminal enterprise rather than as individuals.
'Sem City' Boss Philip A. Beasley
Defendant Philip A. Beasley With Handgun (Courtesy: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)
Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, FBI Major Sex Crimes Unit, and Oakland police spearheaded the sex crime investigation.
Three of the four men arrested (Jason A. Beasley, Ruben M. Mitchell, and Paul Booker) were booked without bail into the Alameda County Jail and face charges related to assault w/ machine gun on a peace officer / firefighter, kidnapping a minor for commercial sex, rape acting while in concert, human trafficking of a minor, causing minor under 16yrs to engage in commercial sex trafficking, torture, mayhem, maiming, and disfigurement of body parts.
Alameda County Prosecutor Nancy O'Malley described the four as “the who’s who of human traffickings, kidnappings, tortures and gun violence” in Oakland.
Defendants Jason A. Beasley (L) Ruben M. Mitchell (R) , Courtesy: Alameda County Jail
O'Malley said the grand jury indictment this week should be a lesson to other criminal groups operating in the city of Oakland
“We’re sending the message to other organized groups that are intent on committing crimes — you’re next,” she said.
“We’re taking the violence out of the neighborhood and restoring trust in us,” O'Malley said.
Sem City Exhibits
Defendents Exhibits (Courtesy: Alameda County Jail)
District Attorney Nancy O' Malley explained to the jury using RICO to obtain the indictments was critical because it allowed federal and local law enforcement to combine resources and efforts and tie together shootings, human trafficking and criminal activity across a wide area that might have otherwise been investigated in isolation.
Philip A. Beasley possessing firearm by convicted felon (Courtesy: FBI)
During the lead-up to the March 27 arrest, the OPD and the Feds rescued a 16-yr old victim who says she was kidnapped, and and assaulted with a hunting knife by suspected members of the "Sem City" over the course of a week.
Alameda County DA Nancy O' Malley sealed over six warrants for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram accounts.
CCTV cameras were also used in the “Sem City” investigation in the city.
“That will send a message. That will echo around a lot of the other membership,” Alameda County Prosecutor Nancy O'Malley predicted.
“With RICO, you don’t have to be too heavily involved in every activity of the gang, and you can be facing some pretty substantial time.”
Defendant Jason A. Beasley With 60K (Courtesy: FBI)
Highly Organized Crime
Members of the 'Sem City' set up a network of scouts with cell phones to warn other gang members when police entered their territory, the indictment says.
The indictment revealed a highly organized Byzantine structure, one that included meetings, membership dues, and a "board of directors." Court documents allege 'Sem City's' structure was created by Philip A. Beasley in 2013.
To cover for their activities, the gang used "female associates to rent out residences, establish credit accounts, carry out robberies, rent vehicles, purchase firearms, hide firearms, and transport controlled substances," because it's believed they draw less attention, according to the indictment.
Sem City Female Associates (Courtesy: FBI)
To hide its activities, the indictment alleges, the gang disciplined members for even talking to cops or getting their name on police reports they call "paperwork."
During the investigation, task force members said they seized hunting knifes, marijuana, dozens of handguns, ak-47's and gallons of codeine syrup.
“Philip A. Beasley was the leader of the 'Sem City' and had easy acess to America's Most Wanted Kidnappers, Cop-Killers, Rapists and Murders.” said Nancy O'Malley.
Sem City Kingpins
“The 'Sem City' also maintained an arsenal of weapons, regularly engaged in acts of torture, mayhem, maiming and was involved in significant human trafficking.”
'Operation Cross Country IV'
Prosecutors also accuse the Sem City members of using violence and intimidation to protect and expand the gang’s territory and activities in the Alameda County area.
Philip A. Beasley is accused of harboring two Oakland men wanted for kidnapping and torture in Oakland.
Philip A. Beasley with convicted Kidnapper / Maimer (Photo Courtesy: Alameda County Sheriff's Office's)
They are also accused of advertising underage girls online and then following the girls into the homes of those responding to the ads and robbing those people.
Philip A. Beasley photographed pimping, pandering, & human trafficking (Photo Source: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)
The alleged crimes cited Friday weren’t limited to the city of Oakland.
Two of the four major incidents that underlie this week’s indictment, O' Malley said, include violent kidnappings, human traffickings, and assaults in both Alameda and Clark counties.
America's Most Dangerous Human Trafficker
Jason A. Beasley photographed pimping, human trafficking Victim Cierra Trussle (Photo Source: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)
The violent incidents identified in the indictment were:
Jason Antoine Beasley, a/k/a “Young JBAY” and “JBAY,” is a member of the “Sem City.”
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“This multi-agency investigation uncovered a diabolical scheme that went from a multi-million dollar human trafficking ring, to the kidnapping, rape, and torture of a 17-yr-old girl, to the murders of several Oakland City police officers,” stated United States Attorney Melinda Haag.
“I commend the extraordinary efforts of Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O' Malley, FBI Special Agent William J. Burke and the agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Las Vegas Police Department, and the Oakland Police Department who brought this case to indictment.”
Man, 34, Testifies Being Shot Nine Times By Sem City Member Jason A. Beasley
OAKLAND — A 34-year-old former Oakland man testified Wednesday that he was violently shot by a man in 2013 shortly after he tried to film a visual for a diss on the East Oakland block of Seminary / Foothill Blvd.
“I just wanted to shoot my music video,” Amir Ashad said at the trial of a man accused of being involved in the shooting that left him paralyzed when he was a rising Bay Area Rapper.
“I went to Seminary / Foothill Blvd, tried to make a music video for my diss record, and I ended up getting shot nine times for it.”
Jason Antoine Beasley, 24, is charged with eight felonies and numerous charge enhancements, including kidnapping to commit a sex crime, and assault w/ a deadly weapon.
In trial opening statements prosecutors said, "When victim Ashad was presented a photo line up of his suspected shooter, Ashad pointed Beasley, out of a photographic line-up consisting of six black males similar in age and appearance.”
On the witness stand, Ashad identified Jason A. Beasley as the man who was his shooter in the June 3, 2013, incident that left him paralyzed from the head down.
He was attempting to shoot a visual for a diss track moments before his shooting, according to his testimony.
He said that he made a diss song and then tried to make a visual for the diss on Oakland’s Seminary Boulevard at age 34.
The night before his shooting, he said he posted his ‘Philthy You A Verse Lick’ record online and then made plans with his entrouge to shoot the visual for the diss on Seminary, he said.
The "Philthy Rich" Diss
He said he was on Seminary / Foothill Blvd with his entourage when a man noticed them making a music video and stopped by in his car.
He basically walked up, and then shot me nine times, he testified.
"When he shot me in the leg, I fell and broke my jaw," he said.
"He was pretty much like, 'What y'all doing over here?' so it seemed as if it was a setup. It seemed as if they knew I was coming to Seminary because it was like 10:30 at night, how would he have just been over there driving around like that? He left me paralyzed from the head down all because I wanted to shoot a diss video on Seminary" Ashad, 33, told the grand jury in the attempted second-degree murder trial of Jason Beasley, 23.
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He cried on the witness stand when he described Beasley shooting him in the face, chest and legs with a .45mm Glock. He said Beasley just wouldn’t stop shooting.
Jason Beasley, 23, With .45 Glock Courtesy: FBI
Beasley also faces a separate trial on charges that he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl he abducted in June 2013, a month before he shot Ashad.
In that case Beasley allegedly abducted the girl in East Oakland on June 3, 2013, sexually assaulted her and tried to make her work as a prostitute.
Woman, 20, Describes Violent 2013 Assault And Abduction Committed By Sem City Members Jason A. Beasley, Paul Booker, And Ruben M. Mitchell
OAKLAND — A 20-year-old former Oakland woman testified Wednesday that she was violently kidnapped, raped, burned with an ironing press, and sliced with a hunting knife in 2013 shortly after she told a pimp to take her home because she no longer wanted to work as an underage prostitute.
“I wanted out of the game,” a woman dubbed Jane Doe said at the trial for three men accused of participating in a brutal assault on her when she was a 17-year-old high school student.
Jason Beasley Causing Minor Under 16yrs to Engage in Commercial Sex Trafficking (Courtesy: FBI)
“He didn’t take me home, I got dragged out of the car, stuffed in a trunk, and ended up getting gang raped for six days straight in an East Oakland zombie house.”
On the witness stand, Doe identified Beasley and Booker as two of more than six men who participated in her June 3, 2013, abduction, with Booker being the lead assailant.
Kidnapping / Maiming Suspects
All three suspects were booked into the Alameda County Jail on outstanding kidnapping warrants. (Courtesy: Alameda County Sheriff's Office)
She identified Mitchell as being there when shown an old photo of him in which he looks different from how he does today.
She knew Beasley and Booker as local pimps before her kidnapping, but she did not know and still does not know Mitchell, according to her testimony.
Doe said she became a prostitute on Oakland’s International Boulevard at age 15 after she ran away from home to avoid a warrant that would have led to her returning to juvenile hall.
The night before her kidnapping, she and Beasley had consensual sex and made plans for him to take her out of town for commercial sex work, she said.
The next morning, she said she told Beasley to take her home instead: she no longer wanted to work as a prostitute.
She said she was in Beasley’s car with at least one young child and his son’s mother when Beasley stopped by in another car from which a group of men got out.
They dragged her out of Beasley’s car, and after Booker beat her head with a handgun, Booker, Mitchell and two other men stuffed her in a car trunk, she testified.
She tried to kick a tail light out to wave for help but was unsuccessful, she said. From the trunk, she said she was dragged into an East Oakland apartment where more men, including Beasley, and a couple women were waiting.
"The House Of Horrors"
Sem City Trap (Courtesy: FBI)
Doe said her head was bleeding profusely and she was in and out of consciousness throughout the ordeal.
They bound her neck, arms and legs with duct tape, and at one point she woke up to an unknown man having sex with her, she testified.
She cried on the witness stand when she described Beasley cutting her breasts, stomach and thighs with a hunting knife.
9" Hunting Knife
She said Booker had put a gun in her vagina before slicing her body and said he was going to fire it if she screamed.
The "Sem City" Torturer's
Doe said she woke up in the apartment alone on top of black garbage bags. Her blood had drenched the duct tape that bound her, and she was able to wiggle free.
She was naked and her eyes were swollen shut as she escaped through a bedroom window and hopped multiple residential fences, she said.
A man in the neighborhood found her hiding under his car.
He gave her the shirt off his back and went inside to call the police. While the neighbor was inside, Ms Doe hide underneath a car in the driveway.
While going to call the police, Defendants Booker, and Beasley approached the security gate to the neighbor’s apartment.
The neighbor noticed Defendants Booker and Beasley both had guns tucked into their waistbands, and said there was no girl on his property.
The defendants left.
OPD arrived to find her hiding under the neighbor’s car. In fear for her life, Ms Doe demanded that she be transported away from Defendant Booker’s location before she provided a statement. She confirmed the apartment complex where she was taken, and Defendant Booker’s car in which she was kidnapped.
OPD MAJOR SEX CRIMES INVESTIGATION BEGINS
Defendant Booker’s car was located in the parking lot of the apartment complex. Ms Doe was treated by emergency medical personnel who removed a white t-shirt that was secured to her neck by duct tape.
Forensic examination done on the duct tape found the left palm print of the first Defendant Mitchell.
After rape kit testing and CODIS analysis defendents Beasley and Booker's DNA was additionally found inside Ms. Doe.