Mongols Trial Nears Climax

November 18, 2018

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Mongols Trial Nears Climax

Stories usually get told beginning with the middle.

The middle of this one was early Friday afternoon, about two-thirds of the way through my cross-examination by Steven Welk. Welk is the Chief of the Forfeiture Section of U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

The judge in this case, United States versus Mongol Nation, is a Clinton appointee named David O. Carter who ran track for UCLA. Sometimes, some people find him annoying. Not me, of course. All I need to know about the guy, all you need to know, is that he has the reputation of being the hardest working judge in the District and he was at Khe Sanh, when Khe Sanh was bad, before the First Cav moved in and saved the day and installed piss tubes and so on.

Also, let me say before I go any farther, one, two, three, four, I love the Marine Corps and I love Judge Carter.

My testimony that day and the day before had been interrupted to allow several other witnesses the chance to take the stand.

The last guy before me was Raymond “Mony” Robles who owned a motorcycle shop called the “Frame Up” when it was destroyed in 1977 by a bomb in a tire. The tire had been left at the shop by a 29-year-old Hells Angels prospect named Thomas Heath. A 22-year-old Mongol named Henry Jimenez and a 15-year-old boy named Raymond Hernandez died. Robles testified that he never knew or wanted to know what eventually happened to Heath until he read about him on this page. Robles and I passed in the well, shook hands, and then I testified some more.

After the lunch break, while I stood in the spectator pews, Carter asked Welk and the other prosecutor, Christopher Brunwin, if they minded if he looked at this website. “Oh yes,” Welk gleefully tattled. “Look up your name. It has a nice little search feature. Look and see what he has said about you.”

It was a revelatory moment for me. To this day, I can remember my Second Grade teacher – her name was Mrs. Douglas and what a bat she was – telling another little boy. “Now Stevie, nobody likes a tattletale.”

And in the same instant, I flashed on a moment years ago when a Mongol named Harry Reynolds told me why he had always been suspicious of ATF undercover agent John Carr. “I could tell,” Reynolds said, “he wasn’t one of us.”

By “us” Reynolds didn’t mean Mongol or even biker when he talked about “us.” I think he was referring to a state of mind that Thomas Jefferson called “yeoman” when Jefferson  talked about his “yeoman republic.” If you are reading these words you are probably one of “us.” Steve Welk isn’t one of us. He does not want to be. He could not be even if he wanted to.

I don’t think Brunwin could pull it off being one of us either and that explains the testiness of the exchanges he had with a couple of witnesses.

There Can Be Only One

This week in the Mongols trial has been like “the gathering” in the 1986 fantasy film Highlander except we all aren’t fighting it out with big, cool swords. he gang’s all here.

Four undercover agents, Carr, Darrin Kozlowski, Paul D’Angelo and Greg Gaioni have testified. Case Agent John Ciccone has been there every day and may testify yet. Las Vegas “biker rights attorney” and serial jaywalker Stephen Stubbs was appointed associate counsel for the defense on Friday. The current president of the Mongols, David “Li’l Dave” Santillan has been there every day. Many policemen who would like to grow up to be John Ciccone have testified.

Many of the men “convicted” in the racketeering case United States v. Cavazos have been subpoenaed. Carter has appointed attorneys for every one of them and most, on the advice of counsel have, invoked their right against self-incrimination and remained silent. The trial might have been more interesting if some of them had testified. Al Cavazos had said he would testify but he bailed Friday morning.

His brother, former Mongols president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos, has two lawyers appointed to represent him. Doc has said that he will not testify and that he doesn’t want to return to Los Angeles because he is afraid his life will be endangered. Before whatever the current danger is he was at the La Tuna Federal Correctional Institution near El Paso. Since then his name has disappeared from the Bureau of Prisons Inmate Locator. Carter insists that Doc should appear in his court on November 29. So he will be there then but he will probably refuse to testify.

Poison Pill

The Mongols attorney, Joe Yanny, thinks most of the convicted men he has subpoenaed have refused to testify because of a clause in their plea agreements. There is a kind of Catch 22 meets 1984 craziness to it.

It goes like this. Most of the potential witnesses confessed to being racketeers “under penalty of perjury.” Perjury is a felony. But the statute of limitations on perjury is five years so in a rational world most of the convicted could now say that they just confessed to get out of jail. However, Yanny discerns a poison pill in a clause that stipulates “Defendant gives up all defenses based on the statute of limitations.” Under the terms of all the plea deals, any of the former defendants could be re-indicted for the original racketeering charge if they renounce their confession. Forever. And, the racketeering charge carries a penalty of 20 years.

One of the convicted men who did testify this week, against the advice of his newly appointed attorney, was a Mongol named Benjy Leyva. His plea deal was filed on October 14, 2009, about a year after he was arrested. His offense, in a nutshell, was that he was stabbed four times and shot four times during the so-called Laughlin Riot. He was stabbed and shot, he confessed, because he had “knowingly and intentionally entered into an agreement to conduct, or participate in the conduct of, the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity, that is, the defendant agreed that at some time during the life of the conspiracy he or some other member or members of the conspiracy would commit, on behalf of the conspiracy, at least two related acts of racketeering.” You know, like being both stabbed and shot.

Talking Down

Leyva patiently explained that he signed his plea deal because that was the only way he could “get this over with.” First they offered him a ten year sentence. Then they offered him five years in prison. Leyva quit fighting when they said he could be sentenced to three years probation if he agreed to perjure himself. So he did.

Brunwin replied by saying “penalty of perjury” about a hundred times.

Leyva politely asked Brunwin to “stop talking down” to him. Brunwin didn’t.

More Testimony

Christopher “Stonee” Ablett had nothing to lose by testifying. Ablett, who is now serving multiple life sentences for killing a Hells Angels charter president named Mark “Papa” Guardado in a street fight in San Francisco in September 2009, became clearly annoyed with Brunwin’s cruel and condescending inquisitorial style. Ablett remembers a 30 second fight against five opponents in which he stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice. He obviously thinks he acted in self-defense. Brunwin thinks he deliberately acted with premeditation on behalf of the “Mongols enterprise.”

The two men will never agree. “Are you gonna testify or are you going to let me answer,” Ablett shouted at one point.”Do you want to come up here and testify, too?”

Eventually it was Welk’s turn to talk down to me. He began by reading me a series of journalism school platitudes about what journalism should be. They all seemed to be multi-sentence statements. He tried to compel me to state whether I “agreed” or “disagreed” with each one. I thought every platitude had elements with which I agreed and disagreed. Eventually he got me to confess that the kind of journalism I do differs from the political gossip that other, better, better paid scriveners do.

“Sometimes, I single source stories,” I confessed.

You should probably understand that Welk most resembles a pygmy gargoyle in an expensive suit. He is a squat, bald man. And when he questions you he usually cocks his head to the right, smiles like a rotting skull and cathects a tone of either bemused or outraged incredulity – as if you were swearing that sometimes pigs fly and as they do they fart gold glitter. “Are you telling me that somebody calls you up and tells you something and then you publish it!?!”

“Uh… Sure.”

It went like that for a couple of days. Hours, possibly the lifetimes of some invertebrates, was devoted to Welk reading me plea deals and asking me if they had “confessed, under penalty of perjury” to whatever it was somebody had done – watching a fight on television while John Carr did one of his numerous acts of “street theater.” Talking big talk. Selling a couple of joints.

He was particularly offended when I called former ATF agent Jay Dobyns a “liar.”

“Let me read what YOU wrote on YOUR website on November 9, 2018. ‘Dobyns lies as most men breathe.’ Did you write that!?”

“Yes I did.”

“Are you saying that agent that sat in the chair where you are sitting now and lied to this court under oath!?!”

“Uhhh… Yep!”

Never Mind

I thought it was never going to end and when it did it was with a whimper not a bang.”

“Now Mr. Davis, in your testimony you have been very reluctant to use the term gang.”

“That’s right.”

“Even with organizations most people would call a street gang. You call them cliques. Why is that?”

I told him something about how I thought “gang” was a loaded term and that I preferred to respect everybody. I wasn’t taking notes. I was wearing a different hat so I don’t remember my exact words.

Welk cocked his head to the right and grinned like a plastic Halloween mask. “And yet in this article” from 2009, or 10, or 11 or whenever it was, “you refer to “John Ciccone’s gang.” He read me a hundred or so of the million and a half words I have written and published here over the last decade.

“Oh,” I said. “That’s from William Queen’s book. That’s his term. ‘John Ciccone’s gang. That’s what Queen said.”

“No further questions,” Welk said as he took off his scary Halloween mask.

I don’t know what the jury thought of any of it.

The trial will now recess for a week until after Thanksgiving. Carter told me I would be subject to recall – in case Welk wants to put his plastic mask back on and beat both our heads against a wall for another eight or nine hours.

Things should get back to normal on this page in another day or so.


23 Responses to “Mongols Trial Nears Climax”

  1. rollinnorth Says:

    “Later, as the cross-examination grew even more combative, Ventura declared: ‘I believe this entire trial is ridiculous, because of the First Amendment.’

    Carter ordered the comment stricken.”

    Jesse Ventura Defends Mongols Motorcycle Club
    November 29, 2018


  2. Troll1% Says:

    Rebel,Once again thank you for all you do.One of the most satisfiing things in life is to beat the other team in their park,playing by their rules.Hopefully this case ends with a victory for our side.Happy fat bird day to all on our side of this. Troll 1%

  3. The Monk Says:


    Thank you for setting me straight and the link to what actually happened.

  4. The Monk Says:


    Thank you for correcting me and the link.

  5. Sieg Says:

    @the Monk

    Gordon Kahl was not involved in a “traffic stop”. He and his family were ambushed by federal dogs. The federals were so incompetent that even after his son was shot down, he managed to commandeer a pigmobile, get him to the hospital, and disappear.

    Rest in Peace, Gordon Kahl, murdered by federal dogs.

    If you are interested in the actual events of his life, this site has a good summary. Writing isn’t the best, but it is factual.


  6. Gandalf Says:

    @ commonsense- Not Hypocrisy. There is a BIG difference between a GOVERMENT telling a person he can’t wear a patch and a person (or group) telling you that you can’t… Heck I can kick your ass for wearing brown shoes. It’s called assault and against the law. Get it?

  7. commonsense Says:

    What I find amusing is that the mongols talk about “freedom” wearing thier patch. And I agree. But I don’t have the freedom to wear a patch with a rocker/MC unless they or any 1% says so even though through our constitution says I can. The hypocrisy is noted. With that being said I hope they are free to wear thier colors. If they loose this case then the feds are coming after all 1% and that’s just the start. Good luck guys I hope you win.

  8. Parsifal Says:

    @ Outlaw – going after a patch is just the tip of the iceberg, next will be everybody else. This is just the beginning of the end of the Freedoms we all look forward too. CENSORSHIP! {And that is what this is.} Walks hand and hand with Tyranny, Indoctrination and finally the Capitulation, and Submission of the masses. This concerns everybody. Fuck! Censorship and those that shall Censor! Damn the Swine! …….. Long live true Journalists and Journalism. The Aging Rebel is one of the few true bright spots in a world of deep dark bullshit. Long Live Our Freedom!

  9. oldskewl Says:

    Thanks for the reminder that probably half of the trolls here are ATF agents working undercover. Fucking Rats, they eat everything in their path including good boots.


  10. Gandalf Says:

    At the end of the day most groups, clubs and organizations have a subsect of “Gangs” (as defined by Law) within them. Real criminal “gangs” do not have any reason, other than crime… to exist. You have riding motorcycles…LE has fighting crime. Church has praying. Shriners do medical/charity. All gather in the park from time to time with family and friends for “picnics”…. Happy Thanksgiving.

  11. Outlaw Says:

    This is a ploy by the government to have the means of attacking any and every club in the nation. Stick to your guns and to hell with them trying to take our God given, and by the way our Constitution rights. Piss off ATF and anyone who wants to try.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    It’s a very dangerous and Anti-American thing for the government to tell you what to wear.

    The opposite is also true, the government should not be able to tell you what not to wear.

    This trial is travesty, a sham, and a mockery (travishamockery).

    True justice would see this case thrown out and mongol nation compensated for their suffering and legal expenses. And they should also be awarded immunity from ever being prosecuted for this farce ever again.

  13. stroker Says:

    Thanks Rebel……….I wish Carter could just pull the plug on this farce, but with a jury, ya never know what yer gonna get! Hope they can see through the prosecutor’s thin veneer of deceit and lies, and grandstanding….trying to pull a diamond out of a pig’s ass!

  14. Tommy Baker Says:

    Well Done Rebel,

    Your interrogation “on the stand” sounds-to-be ‘right on’;
    Which all/any M.C. Member(s) should be appreciative, ‘factual truth’ vs innuendo by Cops/Govt.

    The specific mantra you underscored;
    “The term ‘Gang’ was a loaded term”, goes-to our shared assessment: which I attempted to note
    in sharing “my experience with Mongols Members at 2008 Palm Springs Bike Fest” (11-5-2018):
    An M.C., Not A Gang!

    My own stated sentiment is ‘documented’ – “was recorded on tape” back in 2007:
    ‘1% M.C.’ likely infers:
    “1% Members are more committed to respective M.C., than other 99% of M.C.s could imagine”. . . Thus, 1%er(s)!

    That’s All Folks,

  15. The Monk Says:


    The feds haven’t always had good luck with traffic stops if you remember Gordan Kahl.

  16. Al Says:

    And how does this effect the taking of the MONGOLS club patch… but the govt. Illegal tactic

  17. Stoney Says:

    Fuck the cowardly ATF. The murdered people in Waco and Ruby ridge and then kick open peoples door at 3 in the morning knowing that any normal person would reach for their gun to protect themselves and their family just so they can shoot them down. How hard is it to arrest someone at work or pull them over for a “traffic violation” to enact an arrest.
    I generally don’t have problems with LEOs but these guys the worse. Legal organize crime.

  18. FF Says:

    Well done, Rebel. I had to look up Yeoman Republic. I learn something new every time I read the blog. Fuck Corky!

  19. Paladin Says:

    I have every confidence that after a week’s recess and an overdose of Thanksgiving’s tryptophan, the jury won’t remember a thing.


  20. Aanon Says:

    Judge sounds like he should know chickenshit from chicken salad. Thanks Rebel.

  21. david Says:

    When Welk and his fellow mask-wearing showman Brun-win LOSE the case, they can beat both their heads against walls, tables , chairs, anything, which will prove by sound the empty space in their skulls.

  22. freebird Says:

    People like Welk are the product of years of bullying in the Public School System

    He was always the last one to the playground because the fat girl gang had him pinned in some corner shaking him down for his lunch money

    But there was not much us poor kids could do to help him. All we had was a brown paper bag with a liverwurst sandwich…..

  23. Hangaround Says:

    Thumbs up rebel! Remember if the recall you and open up questions like is Jay Dobbins a
    Liar you can phrase your answer like “Jay said xyz so yes he is” don’t hold back,

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