It is beginning to look unlikely that any of the defendants in the Mongols Motorcycle Club case will ever stand trial.
The prosecution does not want the case to go to trial. The government has both secrets and promises to keep. A usually informed source has said that on at least one occasion, the government used the poor health of former presiding judge, Florence-Marie Cooper, to strategically threaten defendants with the specter of a sterner and less informed judge in this complex case.
Last Thursday, three defendants arrived in court and were surprised to learn that they were there to formalize pleas to which they had agreed during Judge Cooper’s final days.
The ATF investigation of the Mongols, called Operation Black Rain, seems to have crawled with illegalities. Even if those legal violations are not provably true, because the case will never be tried so no one will ever look, the unfairness of the investigation is self-evident. The unfairness of the prosecution is also self-evident. The defense seems powerless against it. The usually informed source also said that “for the most part” the remaining defense attorneys “are seeking to have their clients plead.”
This may be less than a total victory by the ATF over motorcycle clubs in general and the Mongols Motorcycle Club in particular. But book, news and television accounts will portray Black Rain as a total victory.
Four Sentenced Last Week
Four more men were sentenced by Judge Otis D Wright. All four men pled guilty to Count One of the indictment, which alleges that the motorcycle club was a racketeering enterprise that engaged in crime for profit.
David Edward Gil was sentenced to eight years and one month in prison and supervised release for four years.
Anthony Zuniga was sentenced by Judge Wright to five years probation.
Ricardo Gutierrez was sentenced to four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
Brandon Cheville was sentenced to five years probation.
Three Pleas Entered
Three defendants formally had their guilty pleas to Count One of the Indictment accepted by Judge David O. Carter in Orange County.
Mark Garcia will be sentenced by Judge Carter at 7:30 am on July 6th. Michael Bill Munz will be sentenced an hour later.
William Owens will be sentenced at 7:30 am on July 9th.