Former Chino Chapter President Roger “Stamper” Martinez became the eleventh member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club to enter an unsealed guilty plea last Friday.
So far, 27 of 78 defendants, about 35 percent, have made plea deals with the Federal prosecutors. None of the defendants who have entered unsealed pleas are cooperating with the prosecution other than to enter a racketeering plea. Sixteen defendants have entered into plea and sentencing agreements that remain under seal. Those sixteen may have something to hide.
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A story in today’s Los Angeles Times declines to specify a number of plea deals. The Times’ reading of the public record is that “several others among the 79 gang members arrested last year have also entered guilty pleas, documents filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles reveal.” This page is pretty sure that one of those 79 defendants already died and so the charges against him were dismissed.
The Times says, “Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined to specify how many defendants have entered guilty pleas, saying that some aspects of the case remain under seal.” The Times also says that “Other defendants who have entered guilty pleas to (Count One) face maximum sentences of 20 years.”
Martinez pled guilty to Count One of the Indictment, which is the general racketeering count. The charge does carry a maximum potential sentence of 20 years imprisonment but none of the defendants who has entered an unsealed plea so far seems to be looking at much more than 36 months.
In addition to racketeering, Martinez formally agreed that “as a member of the Mongols criminal enterprise, defendant and other members of the Mongols gang distributed narcotics.”
Predicate Racketeering Acts
Martinez also admitted that he “facilitated the sale of methamphetamine to another member of the Mongols gang” and that he “provided funds to support the Mongols criminal enterprise.”
According to the plea agreement, “defendant Martinez told an undercover law enforcement officer that defendant believed was an associate of the Mongols gang that the Mongols ‘Mother Chapter’ required defendant Martinez and other Mongols members who the Mother Chapter believed were ‘making dirty money’ to contribute $2,500 to ‘Mother Chapter’ and that the funds would be used to pay the legal fees for Mongols members charged in the 2002 confrontation between Mongols and Hells Angels members in Laughlin, Nevada.”
Like other defendants with unsealed pleas, the government is recommending that Martinez be charged with a “base level 19 offense.” The prosecutors are also recommending that the charge be kicked down three points for “acceptance of responsibility.”
In general terms, Martinez may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of as little as 21 months or possibly as long as 41 months. The one defendant who has actually been sentenced in this case so far got 27 months for a similar charge. Under revised Federal guidelines, prisoners generally have to complete 80 percent of their sentence before they are eligible for release.