North Park Gang Member Sentenced to 11 years in Prison for His Leadership Role in a Racketeering Conspiracy Involving Sex Trafficking and Prostitution
Monday, August 15, 2016
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – August 15, 2016
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alessandra P. Serano (619) 546-8104 or Joseph J.M. Orabona (619) 546-7951
SAN DIEGO, CA – A member of the Black Mob/Skanless Enterprise, which consisted of two North Park-based criminal street gangs, was sentenced to 11 years in prison today for his leadership role in a racketeering enterprise involving sex trafficking of minors and adults as well as assault and robbery.
Aaron Dwayne Pittman, aka “Q-Tip” or “Lil’ Q-Tip,” acting as a pimp, supervised, managed, and maintained adult females as they engaged in prostitution in San Diego, Phoenix, Orlando, Honolulu, and other cities throughout the United States. He was sentenced on the charge of RICO conspiracy before U.S. District Court Judge John A. Houston.
As detailed in his plea agreement, Pittman, a member of the Black Mob criminal street gang, conspired with other members of the Black Mob/Skanless Enterprise from at least the late 1990s through December 2013 to engage in a pattern of racketeering activities, including sex trafficking, robbery, and assault, in San Diego County and elsewhere in the United States. In carrying out the conspiracy, Pittman purchased flights, posted online ads, and promoted prostitution of females working for him – which Pittman referred to as “Team Tip.” As part of the conspiracy, Pittman admitted he robbed one of his prostitutes and forcefully assaulted another individual outside of a night club in San Diego. Pittman also admitted that the Black Mob/Skanless Enterprise enriched its members through recruiting and maintaining minor and adult females to work as prostitutes.
In imposing the 11-year sentence, Judge Houston stated that Pittman’s conduct was “not victimless criminal activity.” Judge Houston also noted that Pittman made a “lavish living out of pimping” and that Pittman had “little regard for the women who [he] controlled.” In addition to sentencing Pittman to 11 years in prison, Judge Houston also ordered the forfeiture of several vehicles, computers, other electronic devices, and pimp-related paraphernalia (i.e., ornate cups known as “pimp cups” which are commonly possessed by pimps as symbols of their status). Following his release from prison, Pittman will be placed on three years of supervised release.
“Sex trafficking is a crime that has long-lasting and devastating effects on the women and girls who are controlled by pimps like Mr. Pittman,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “The 11-year sentence imposed for one of the leaders of the Black Mob criminal street gang demonstrates the seriousness of this crime and will hopefully deter other criminal street gangs from engaging in such activity.”
“This sentence sends a message that lives are not to be bought and sold,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric S. Birnbaum. “The FBI, along with our partners, work tirelessly to rescue those forced into this modern day slavery and hold accountable those who wish to profit from the abuse of others. If you have information about human trafficking, we urge you to contact the Child Exploitation Task Force/San Diego FBI at 858-320-1800; or the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888.”
The federal racketeering statute known as “RICO” historically has been used to prosecute mobsters and organized crime, but federal prosecutors have been using the statute on street gangs in recent years because the gangs are increasingly acting as organized criminal enterprises especially in sex trafficking and prostitution.
This case was the result of the collaborative work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation Task Force and the San Diego Police Department.
DEFENDANT Criminal Case No. 13CR4510-JAH
Aaron Dwayne Pittman (1) Age: 34 San Diego, CA
aka “Q-Tip,” “Lil’ Q-Tip”
SUMMARY OF CHARGES THAT DEFENDANT VEGA PLEADED GUILTY TO:
Count 1 – Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d) B Conspiracy to Conduct Enterprise Affairs Through a Pattern of Racketeering Activity
Maximum penalties: 20 years in prison, $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
San Diego Police Department