Judge Otis D Wright sentenced six more defendants in the Mongols case, United States versus Cavazos et al., last week. All the defendants pled guilty to Count One of the indictment which initiated the case.
Count One accused the defendants of: “being persons employed by and associated with the Mongols criminal enterprise, which enterprise engaged in and the activities of which affected interstate and foreign commerce, unlawfully and knowingly combined, conspired, confederated, and agreed together and with each other to violate Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962, that is, to conduct and participate, directly and indirectly, in the conduct of the affairs of the enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity….”
Count One also accused the defendants of obtaining “firearms, knives, bullet-proof vests and explosives to be used to enforce the authority of the Mongols against rival gang members, the general public and law enforcement” and of committing “acts of violence, including murder, against rival gang members, law enforcement or other persons who would challenge the authority of the Mongols organization”
Richard Espinoza had also been charged with beating and stabbing a person identified as “S.A.” in a fight the prosecution alleged was racially motivated. Sources with knowledge of the incident have told this page that the fight was not racially motivated and was overstated.
Wright sentenced Espinoza to 33 months in a federal prison and three years of supervised release.
Luis Padilla was accused of participating in two illegal drug deals in 2007. He was accused of talking about receiving at least a kilogram of cocaine that was supposed to be smuggled into the United States from Sinaloa in September of that year.
He was also accused of delivering “approximately 112 grams of methamphetamine” to the Arcadia, California residence of two other defendants in the case.
Wright sentenced Padilla to seven years and three months in a federal penitentiary and three years of supervised probation. Wright recommended that the Bureau of Prisons house him in “a detention facility located in Southern California.” And, acknowledging that Padilla’s crimes stemmed from an addiction, Wright also recommended that Padilla “be considered for enrollment in the Bureau of Prisons 500 Hour Drug Treatment Program.”
William Ramirez’ actual offenses are difficult to discern in the public record although he did make the mistake of crossing paths with an Under Cover Agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives named John Carr.
Ramirez was specifically accused of directing “lower-ranking Mongols members and prospective Mongols members about the activities of the gang and their responsibilities for the organization.”
Ramirez was also accused by Carr of arming “himself as ‘security’ to protect the distribution of 20 kilograms of cocaine.” Although, there actually was no distribution and there was actually no cocaine. One of the prosecutors in the case has described this cocaine deal as “street theater.”
Ramirez was sentenced to five years probation.
Juan Alfred Gonzalez
Juan Alfred Gonzalez’ offenses are also unlikely to be made into an action film. He used methamphetamine. Sometimes he gave away or sold small amounts of the drug and sometimes he was armed.
Specifically Gonzalez was accused of distributing “approximately eight grams of actual methamphetamine” on one occasion and of distributing “approximately 5.4 grams, of actual methamphetamine” on another. He was also accused of two counts of “knowingly possessing” a firearm. Once the gun was “a Glock, Model 19, 9mm handgun” and again “a Smith & Wesson, Model 732, .32 caliber handgun.”
For his crimes Gonzalez was sentenced to five years and ten months in a federal prison and three years of supervised release. In order to try to preserve his life Judge Wright recommended that Gonzalez be allowed to do his time “in Southern California.” And, for his drug problem Wright recommended that he “be considered for participation in the Bureau of Prisons 500 Hour Drug Treatment Program.”
Jason Hull also wandered into Special Agent Carr’s web.
Hull was specifically accused of telling Carr, “who was posing as a drug trafficker, to join the Mongols.” He was also accused of telling Carr that Carr “could make a lot of money trafficking drugs with him.” Hull also “discussed arrangements to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine” with Carr. And he was also accused by Carr of arming “himself as ‘security’ to protect the distribution of 20 kilograms of cocaine,” which, as previously stated, was not actually cocaine and was never actually intended to be distributed.
Wright sentenced Hull to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Raymond Anthony Trujillo
Raymond Anthony Trujillo was a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club who seems to have had an addiction to drugs and as a result he spent time in the company of men who could feed that addiction.
On one occasion he stole home theater equipment from a victim identified as “M.R.” On another occasion one of his club brothers had to take a gun away from him because he “had been randomly shooting at people on the freeway.”
On one occasion Trujillo delivered drugs as a favor to a co-defendant and he picked up a cash payment for drugs from another. Late last week he was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He may also be allowed to enroll in a drug treatment program while he is locked up.