Much Mongols Ado

September 29, 2009

All Posts, News

Don’t call it the Mongols case. It isn’t about the Mongols. It is about cops and lawyers and judges getting paid.

For those just now returning from a long trip to the planet Mars, almost a year ago, on October 21st, 2008, United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien announced via press release that, “Sixty-one members of the violent Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang were arrested…after being named in an 86-count federal racketeering indictment that alleges the criminal enterprise was involved in a wide range of criminal activity, including murder, hate crimes against African-Americans, assaults, firearms violations and narcotics trafficking.”

Here is a quick summary of what that press release claimed and the reality of what has happened in the Mongols case so far.

Guilty Of What

“A total of 71 defendants have now been taken into federal custody as a result of (a) three-year investigation” the press release announced.

“According to the indictment, members of the Mongols typically engage in crimes that include acts of violence – ranging from battery to murder – drug trafficking, money laundering, weapons trafficking, extortion, and, very frequently, violent attacks on African-Americans. Members also frequently conduct robberies, steal motorcycles, and engage in the theft of credit card account information to obtain funds for themselves and the organization. Members often commit their crimes and acts of violence with perceived impunity because they believe victims and witnesses are afraid to testify against them or to cooperate with law enforcement for fear of retaliation by the larger Mongols organization.”

Seventy-nine men were named in that indictment a year ago. As of September 29th, 2009 seventy-eight of them have appeared before a judge. Peter Soto, defendant number 14, has not yet learned of the charges against him and so has not yet turned himself in. Jorge Cottini, defendant number 65, died before he could clear his good name.

Forty-two defendants have either pled guilty or entered into plea and sentencing agreements with the government. One defendant pled guilty to methamphetamine trafficking. The other forty-one have pled guilty to Count One of the indictment which labels the Mongols Motorcycle Club as a criminal syndicate.

To date, no one has been convicted of any charge other than belonging to a racketeering enterprise.

Trial Or No Trial

One defendant, Harry Reynolds, defendant 51, a former Las Vegas chapter President, has entered a motion to separate his case from the other defendants.

The remaining 34 defendants are scheduled to stand trial beginning November 24th. However, the government seems intent on avoiding a trial and coercing confessions to Count One from as many of the remaining defendants as possible. In a status report filed with the court a week ago, prosecutors told the judge “the government suggests that the Court vacate the November 24, 2009 trial date, but set a status conference on November 10, 2009, or on a date convenient for the Court for any defendant who has not entered a guilty plea by that date.”

The government, the status report alleges, is asking for a delay out of the goodness of the prosecutor’s hearts and on behalf of the 34 men who have not yet been brow-beaten into making a plea deal. “The majority of these defendants and their counsel,” the government claims in its report, ” are not prepared to proceed to trial on November 24, 2009.”

Big Fish

“Those arrested today include the former Mongols National President Ruben ‘Doc’ Cavazos,” the official version of the Mongols bust announced, “several chapter presidents, and various officials of local chapters. In addition to the arrests today, authorities seized dozens of motorcycles which allegedly are part of the gang’s criminal enterprise.”

To date, none of the motorcycles have been returned nor has any connection between those bikes and the criminality of any of the defendants been established. Cavazos made a plea deal with the government in January and, according to court documents, is helping the government pursue its case against the 34 remaining defendants.

United States Attorney O’Brien quit this case on September 1st to pursue a new career defending white collar criminals.

Last year’s release went on to quote Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge John Torres as saying, “Today, the leadership of the Mongols, one of the most violent outlaw motorcycle gangs, was taken down. For three years, four brave and dedicated ATF undercover agents put their lives on the line to infiltrate the Mongols. They made great personal sacrifices to protect our community and we are all extremely grateful.”

To date, the names of three of those agents have been revealed in public documents: ATF Special Agents Gregory Gaioni, Darrin Kozlowski and John Carr. The names of the other five ATF Agents and the eight confidential informants involved in the investigation have not yet been made public.

The Mongols Motorcycle Club lawfully incorporated last January and held a national run in Lancaster, California last July.

The Patch

In what was the clearly the most shock and awe inspiring passage in that press release the government bragged, “In addition to pursuing the criminal charges set forth in the indictment, for the first time ever, we are seeking to forfeit the intellectual property of a gang…. The name ‘Mongols,’ which is part of the gang’s ‘patch’ that members wear on their motorcycle jackets, was trademarked by the gang. The indictment alleges that this trademark is subject to forfeiture. We have filed papers seeking a court order that will prevent gang members from using or displaying the name ‘Mongols.’ If the court grants our request for this order, then if any law enforcement officer sees a Mongol wearing his patch, he will be authorized to stop that gang member and literally take the jacket right off his back.”

As part of his plea deal, Doc Cavazos agreed to forfeit the trademarked name “Mongols.” The government then proceed to seize items bearing that name, and items bearing the trademarked Mongols logo, or patch, and memorabilia bearing any reference to the Mongols.

On July 31st, Judge Florence-Marie Cooper specifically enjoined the government from stopping any member, or former member, or supporter of the Mongols to “literally take the jacket right off his back.”

“The Government,” Judge Cooper wrote, “its officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and anyone in active concert or participation with any of the foregoing persons, (is enjoined) from seizing, or asking or directing any other person or entity to seize…any property or item bearing or displaying all or part of the collective membership mark at issue in (the case) United States v. Cavazos.”

The government has complained about this injunction. Attorneys for the Mongols have asked the judge to return some of the property the government has already seized. Judge Cooper will probably rule on that request later this week.

, , , , , , , , , ,

20 Responses to “Much Mongols Ado”

  1. Shyster Says:

    So let me see … Thomas P.(one can only imagine what the “P” stands for) O’Brien, the United States Attorney, the number one head honcho Federal Prosecutor in this case against the Mongols MC who goes on National T.V. and Radio claiming the Mongols are the devil incarnate QUITS his job as a Federal Prosecutor for the United States Government to defend white collar criminals for a high dollar lawfirm. The same White collar criminals who have done more damage to the economic infrastructure of this country and the World beyond will now get the benefit of being defended by an ex-prosecutor. [email protected] hypocrite b&*ch.

    A MC member and Criminal Defense Lawyer in Los Angeles.

  2. izapmtb Says:

    that is so true about the agents taking your stuff, i worked with la co probation i seen with my own eyes, when you got busted with drugs, that dident go to the evidence room it went to there 911 party and they sit there and say and thank the probationer this is when i opened my eyes there just as bad as convicts but it more sad to say they take an oath,,,,

  3. WhiteDevil Says:

    EggsAckley-S.O.A. written all over it.

  4. cdgridr Says:

    i looked into that shooting… now im not trying to point any fingers,but I was there, and when the dust settled, i saw 3 sons of anarchy patches riding away in flat black dynas… but like i said, im not one to point fingers.

  5. sled tramp Says:

    Looked up the incident but it looked like typical L.A. stuff, shotgun and baseball bat,bar argument,three Hispanics in an SUV. Maybe I’m missing something but I didn’t make the connection I THINK you’re implying.

  6. WhiteDevil Says:

    Did anyone connect the dots with the shootout last night in Rosemead?

  7. Nookster Says:

    I’ve got to tell you from my own personal experience, the feds snatch your bike, car and what ever else the consider valueable. They incorrectly classify it as “being purchased with proceeds of the crime, or used in the commission of the crime”. When I was popped, I had a beautiful 57 panhead chopper, it was my baby. After the feds kicked down my door and drug me off to jail, I heard from the neighbors that those cocksuckers where joy riding it up and down the street and squealing like a bunch of bitches. A few days later as I was being transferred from the jail to the federal courthouse for a useless bail hearing, when the van pulled in I looked over and saw 4 agents pile out of my fucking car. I thought “WTF” I have’nt been convicted of shit and here are these assholes using my shit like they own it. Anyway, a few years later while I was in the joint, a guy comes throught from the area I was from and told me an agent bought my Panhead at an auction for a few hundred bucks. Just another rigged auction. It’s the way the cops operate, it’s not just about locking you up for a no good reason, it’s also about the MONEY. Usually when you are convicted in a trial or plea in a trial, you lose of forfeit your shit. Don’t be surprised to see some of those bikes snatched in this case, up underneath some agents ass in the years to come. Just my personal experience.

  8. DirtyBruin Says:

    cdgridr: He just thinks he’s harsh; he ever runs into a couple biker dykes I know, he’ll be begging for mercy. ;)

    FWIW … the “bruin” comes from being big ‘n hairy, nothing to do with college sports BS.

    Back to the topic – I think we really need a law that makes law enforcement agencies wholly responsible for any damage done to anything they sieze; if they go joyriding on a motorcycle and run up the mileage, screw up the paint, “lose” parts – it comes out of their budget – ideally, out of the PAY of the agents responsible for the specific items. Make ’em responsible for it and maybe they’ll actually take CARE of the stuff.

  9. JAMES Says:

    REBEL, you hit it on the nose, JUST A WAY TO FUCK WITH THESE GUYS, really a sad situation no matter who or what they are, never even questioned, just had motorcycles towed in,PERIOD.And as to what shape they come back in or how many parts are missing is really sickening.

  10. Rebel Says:

    Dear Joseph S,

    Holding the bikes is a way of fucking with guys. That is the short version. There is some legal song and dance that nobody believes. Basically, that is just how the ATF plays. If Judge Cooper ever actually gets around to picking her gavel up the unindicted should get their bikes back. In some condition. The men who were indicted might get their bikes back if there is ever a trial and they are ever acquitted. Of course those bikes have been sitting outside for about a year now, never get turned over, same old bad gas. So even if they do come back they are likely to need some work.

    Just the ATF fucking with guys is all it is. Some days I really hate the fucking police.

    your pal,

  11. cdgridr Says:

    oh man… that was harsh.


    dirty bruin, bro you have far to much time on your hands to be typing word for word what happens on that show. nothing good can come out of that show. it shows bikers in a bad light and get’s people thinking “all” bike clubs do what they do. you sound like my ol lady, she sits there in the morning after and tells me word for word what goes on there. BUT! the truth came out a few days ago when her sister let the fart out of the bag and asked if one of the guy’s on there showed his ass on there again, being a big SC fan i can see how someone called bruin likes to watch bareback mountain shit. they have a word for guy’s like you “vieja” brother stick to the real biker shit on here.

  13. DirtyBruin Says:

    Yikes .. wrong post. Sorry about that.

    *dons the dunce cap, sits in the corner*

  14. DirtyBruin Says:

    Okay, for those of you who don’t watch, here’s the bit about Dynas….

    The club is getting ready to attend a charity ride [as cover for running guns] and one of the members (Bobby) pulls up on a backfiring Harley.

    offscreen: “Hey, it’s an old fat boy on an old Fat Boy!”
    Jax: “I thought you put that beast to sleep?!”
    Bobby: “This Fat Boy ain’t even reached its prime.”
    Opie: “Barely looks like it can reach the end of the lot.”
    Bobby: “Best bike for a long ride – and I’d put it up against any of you pretty Dynas.”

    That’s all there is to it, really; of course, Bobby’s cranky bike causes trouble later on in the episode, but that doesn’t have anything to do with remarks about Dynas.

  15. Joseph S Says:

    Hey Rebel,
    What is the reason for holding the bikes??? Where they stolen??? Do you know??? Is there a logical reason??

    Your friend,

  16. sled tramp Says:

    You can burn,tear,shred and otherwise destroy a cloth patch.What you can’t destroy is the fabric of a man who has a deep love of brotherhood,a willingness to give his freedom or his life for his brothers.

  17. Damon Says:

    They seem to be encouraging each other:,,26123215-2702,00.html

  18. SBW Says:

    This case has never been about the people on the indictment, it’s been about shutting a club down.

    It wouldn’t suprise me a bit if after all the plea agreements are signed that the Goverment then files an indictment against the club as a whole, using the signed plea agreements as evidence thus making the organization a criminal street gang.

    The Goverment is very good at clouding the issues at hand in hope that they can get you later for something of more substance. More substance here is the Club not the members.

    The fight is not over, it has only begun. Read all the articles about all the Clubs that are being prosecuted (through their members) and a clear pattern developes. Cases are being fought for certain conclusions so that all that case law can be combined in furtherance to make MC’s extinct. Divide and conquer with sneaky back-door tactics.

  19. Rebel Says:

    Dear Theone,

    The patch belongs to the Mongols Motorcycle Club. The name “Mongols” belongs to the Mongols. Neither belongs to any member of the Mongols including Doc Cavazos or anybody who might plead guilty or be convicted in the present case. The whole argument now is about if or when the ATF has to return what it has stolen from unindicted members and supporters of the club. The legal issue is about whether or how Judge Cooper will modify her original restraining order. Okay?

    As of now, it is absolutely legal for any member of the club to wear a Mongols patch with the name Mongols on the top rocker. Any cop who tries to take a cut away from a patch holder can be held in contempt of court.

    Of course, cops make their own laws. Every piss ant with a badge considers himself to be the law. But the real law, the case law, is on the Mongols side. Today. Right this minute.

    your pal,

  20. theone Says:


Leave a Reply