The confrontation in Denver last Saturday, that led to the murder of Mongol Motorcycle Club patch holder Victor “Nubs” Mendoza by Iron Order Motorcycle Club member Derrick “Kong” Duran was not merely premeditated but also rehearsed.
The Iron Order includes a “Training and Response Unit,” which the club calls TRU. It exists to prepare club members for confrontations with club outsiders and subsequent interviews with police. TRU members wear a Maltese cross on their vests that includes the letters “T,” “R” and “U” and the number “915” on the arms of the cross. They are typically policemen and they report directly to the club’s international sergeant at arms.
A key duty of Iron Order TRU members is to, “conduct positive and proper communications and relations with all law enforcement and Law Enforcement Motorcycle Clubs. In addition, they must develop appropriate law enforcement contacts and to (sic) inform that law enforcement of the lawfulness and appropriateness of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club.” They are also responsible for training “new chapter members on all interaction scenarios they may encounter.”
According to Iron Order club documents, “The TRU member must be telephone and email responsive ALWAYS. A TRU member cannot be out of touch for more than 30 MINUTES. This may sound unreasonable, but I wish to place you into the mind of the member who is having a major confrontation with another club or confusing law enforcement and places a call, which is not answered. That is unacceptable.”
According to a PowerPoint presentation the club uses to orient new members, “TRU was designed to educate brothers of the Iron Order MC on the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) regarding dealing with the: Sidewalk Commandos, 1%ers, Police” and “Sweet Butts.”
The presentation exemplifies the cartoonishly macho posturing that differentiates the Iron Order from the motorcycle clubs it seeks to dominate.
The slide show defines “Sidewalk Commandos” as “weekend warriors that do not wear a patch and hang around clubs or just think they are close to clubs. They love to start shit, and are more like women than actual men. They enjoy making shit up between two clubs just so they can watch the clubs kick the shit out of each other. They usually do not get involved in the altercation but sit back and enjoy the show. These mutts need to be shut down very quickly and in some case harshly.”
The orientation does not commit to writing what Iron Order officers mean by “harshly.”
In a comment published on this site on January 26, four days before the confrontation in Denver, Iron Order international vice-president Michael “Cgar” Crouse wrote, “All the sidewalk commandos here do is instigate until a situation arises that results in someone getting hurt or losing their lives. The hater pages and this blog are directly responsible for that.” Crouse is a Lieutenant Colonel assigned to the U.S. Army Reserve Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In the past, Crouse has used his military connections to reassign and move Iron Order members suspected of crimes and to gather personal information on veterans and reservists he considers to be enemies of the Iron Order.
The PowerPoint presentation for new members also defines, “Biker chicks – the other sidewalk commando,” as objective enemies of the club. “Sweet butts, biker chicks, biker whores and so forth can be a huge pain in the ass in the MC world,” the presentation explains. “They love to watch MCs fight each other, they love the attention. Recommend (sic) you do not involve yourselves with women from other clubs. Do not listen to the shit biker whores spew from their mouths If a biker whore says hey we can go to this outlaw bar because I know Outlaw Jim – do not listen to hear (sic) – she is setting you up for a bad night.”
Most of the orientation for new members by TRU members involves role play exercises that help new members rehearse confrontations with members of other clubs and the resulting interactions with police. New members are told, “A key indicator of an attack is if you see them all with their vests buttoned/zipped. They do this to ensure there (sic) vest will not get ripped off in a fight. Its recommended that every chapter ensure that each brother knows how to defend themselves. Its also recommended that if a brother is willing and able to get a concealed weapons permit and carry. This club will defend its brothers. An attack on one brother, is an attack on us all.”
The Iron Order also distributes a written list of “Unwritten Rules” that, together with numerous confrontations with outsiders in the last two years, betrays what TRU training is actually about.
Rule eleven in that list states: “When one brother is assaulted every brother responds in force with no mercy. There is no quarter given. The brothers do whatever they have to do to eliminate the violence and neutralize the threat. The aggressor or aggressors are sent away with a strong message to everyone they ever meet to never pick hands up to a brother of the IOMC for any reason.”
TRU members repeatedly rehearse and critique other members, not just new members, on how to behave in a confrontation that will end with the use of deadly force and what to say to police afterward.
Friends And Foes
In a “friends and foe” directive also distributed to new members, The Mongols Motorcycle Club is described like this: “The club is headquartered in southern California and was originally formed in Montebello, California in 1969 by Hispanic Vietnam War veterans who were refused entry to the Hells Angels because of their race. Approximately 74 of the senior leadership were arrested in Oct 2008. Shortly afterwards, the US Gov’t was granted permissions to seize all property of the Mongols and the Mongols MC Name as well as their trademark. In July, 2009, the Federal court reversed the decision based on the freedom of speech. The chapters outside of California and Nevada are not nearly as violent. Treat them as you would the Outlaws. They also have chapters in Nevada, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, Montana, Oregon, New York, Indiana, Florida, and Virginia, and in the countries of Canada, Germany, Italy, and Mexico. The Mongols have a long standing friendship with the Outlaws MC.”
The Outlaws, to whom the Mongols are compared, are described in the same document like this: “Outlaws MC – this club has been an adversary since day one with the IOMC. They have constantly been a challenge about territory and what they have said is ‘disrespect’ because we do not comply to protocol and do not ask them permission to do anything. Caution should always be taken whenever there is an Outlaw around. Do not ignore them and do not say anything negative to anyone outside of the IOMC about them. If they outnumber you it is best to leave in a non aggressive way showing no fear. If they come up to you, offer to shake their hand and use a proper introduction for an MC. That means you say your name, your office and Iron Order MC. He will do the same. They spin all encounters or statements and lie to meet whatever goals they want. Never trust them to be truthful. If the OL starts intimidation tactics by asking, “Who the fuck are you guys?” or “Who gave you permission to wear those colors” etc. you need to refer them to your President or Regional Director. They only fight if they outnumber you or have no chance of losing a fight. Membership in the Outlaws is limited to men who own American-made motorcycles of a particular size; although in Europe, motorcycles from any country are allowed so long as they are in the chopper style.”