Plea deals in return for federal cooperation appear imminent in the case brought last October against members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
The Whittier, California Daily News has been reporting for two days that some defendants in the case United States of America v. Cavazos et. al. 2:08-CR-01201-FMC are about to flip. This week, the Federal Courts sealed records pertinent to the case. Records of the case in the Federal Courts PACER database were inaccessible Sunday night.
“The government believes that the threat of retaliation is credible and raises significant concerns for the safety of the persons involved,” federal prosecutors said in a paper filed last Thursday. The government is prosecuting the defendants in Cavazos and others under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO.) Defendants are also charged with firearms and drug offenses, assaults, murder, money laundering and firearms offenses.
Operation Black Rain
Seventy-nine members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club were indicted and 61 were arrested in raids by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) last October. The arrests culminated a two year long investigation into the Mongols by the ATF.
The ATF called the investigation “Operation Black Rain.” Four ATF agents prospected and patched with the Mongols during that investigation. Four Female agents impersonated their old ladies. The ATF was able to use the cooperation of four snitches during Black Rain and tens of thousands of phone calls were secretly recorded.
Ruben “Doc” Cavazos was the President of the Mongols Motorcycle Club during most of the investigation. Although the ATF trumpeted the case as being a prosecution of the club, the theory under which the case is being prosecuted is that a criminal conspiracy was operated under Cavazos control.
Cavazos’ attorney, Angel Navarro, told the Whittier paper Friday that “he wasn’t at liberty to discuss the case when asked if his client accepted a plea bargain.”
Defendants in the case who do not plead out are scheduled to stand trial this July.