Christopher Andrew Cervantes, a Montebello (California) Police Department “gang expert” and frequent ATF Task Force Officer in cases related to the Mongols and other motorcycle clubs, has been arrested again.
Cervantes was booked on a charge of driving under the influence Thursday morning and released on $5,000 bail. Montebello police lieutenant Kelly Gordon knew that Cervantes “was involved in a traffic collision in Diamond Bar” at 12:40 a.m. and arrested. She did not know whether Cervantes was on duty at the time or if he was driving a police car.
Cop Of The Year
Cervantes, 43, is a former Los Angeles Police Department gang investigator. He was the Montebello Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 1995. He worked as a confidential informant for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives during “Operation Black Rain,” a three-year-long investigation of the Mongols that ended in October 2008.
During that investigation, numerous witnesses have alleged, Cervantes and ATF Special Agent John Ciccone cynically stood by and watched as a gunfight erupted in the parking lot of a topless bar called Nicola’s on April 8, 2007. That shooting and its aftermath figured prominently in the racketeering indictment of 79 members and associates of the Mongols
Cervantes was one of 18 people praised by United States Attorney General Eric Holder in September, 2011 and at an awards dinner the next month for “Exceptional Work in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.” He has also testified in court as a motorcycle gang expert.
San Diego Incident
Cervantes was also detained by police during a party at the Residence Inn in San Diego on July 23, 2011. After Cervantes and other celebrants refused to leave a common area of the hotel hours after it closed, a hotel employee called police. After the uniformed officers arrived, Cervantes attempted to “intimidate” San Diego police officers who responded to the call. He refused to be cuffed and had to be physically restrained to protect hotel employees from him. As he struggled with the San Diego police, Cervantes repeatedly said, “I’m on your side.”
No charges were filed and Cervantes was allowed to remain on duty.
A year later, four Montebello police officers filed a $30 million suit against Montebello Police Chief Kevin McClure. The suit alleged that McClure regularly suffocated investigations of illegal conduct by Montebello police and that the chief misused forfeiture funds.
Officer Shaun Diamond, who was killed during one of seven Swat raids on Mongols homes in October 2014, was a member of the Montebello Police Department. Three months ago, the city of Montebello renamed a downtown plaza after him.