Two San Diego gangs have been indicted in what federal authorities called a "massive criminal enterprise" that focused primarily on the sex trafficking of teenage girls and young women across the nation, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The case illustrates how profitable prostitution has become for street gangs — members can be seen in YouTube videos holding gold chalices and scepters worth thousands of dollars to symbolize their "pimp status" — and it shows how far a gang’s activities can spread through use of the Internet and social media.
"The kind of sex trafficking described in this indictment is nothing less than modern-day slavery," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy at a news conference. "Unfortunately, more gangs are expanding from traditional pursuits like drug dealing into this lucrative business."
The FBI, San Diego police, and other agencies arrested 14 gang members and associates in San Diego Wednesday morning, while another two were nabbed in Arizona and one in New Jersey.