The Joker in the Mongols case has always been the prosecution of Christopher Bryan Ablett.
Ablett is accused of the murder of Hells Angels San Francisco Charter President Mark “Papa” Guardado on September 2nd, 2008. News reports at the time stated that Guardado, who died when he was forty-six, got into an argument with another biker about 10:30 pm outside a bar near 24th Street and Treat Avenue in San Francisco. The argument became a fight. Guardado was shot and his assailant rode away. Guardado died later that night at San Francisco General Hospital.
Ablett, a 37-year-old self-employed electrician, a father of two children and a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club was soon named as a suspect. He turned himself into police in Bartlesville, Oklahoma on October 7, 2008. In the early morning hours of the next day a Mongol named Manual Vincent “Hitman” Martin was shot off his motorcycle on the connector road between the 2 and the 210 Freeways in Los Angeles. The day after that the United States Attorney for the Central District of California sought and got an indictment of the Mongols from a grand jury.
The morning after Martin’s murder there was widespread speculation that he had been shot by vengeful Hells Angels. He was not. In July 2009 Los Angeles police blamed Martin’s murder on a mostly Latino local clique named Toonerville. Coincidentally, Toonerville was being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at the time. Also coincidentally, three Under Cover ATF Agents posing as Mongols were with Martin the night he died.
Ablett was extradited to California to face state murder charges. He had an initial appearance in state court in November then disappeared for seven months. The murder became a federal case on July 29, 2009.
A Racketeering Murder
Ablett is charged with “murder in aid of racketeering.” The racketeering enterprise for which he murdered is described as the “‘Mongols’ biker gang…a criminal organization whose members engaged in, among other things, murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to traffic in narcotics, narcotics trafficking, robbery, extortion, money laundering and witness intimidation.” About two thirds of the Ablett Indictment describes the Mongols “racket.”
In addition to murder in aid of racketeering Ablett is charged with using a firearm in a murder and using a firearm in commission of a crime of violence. He faces the death penalty if he is convicted.
Ablett changed lawyers on September 23rd, 2009 and around that time the government provided the defense with 88 pages of written material and 102 autopsy photographs.
According to public documents filed today, last February 2nd , “the government provided records for eleven cellular telephones without subscriber information” and has provided “no discovery” since then. Ablett’s defense attorney, Richard B. Mazer, wrote today that the government has displayed an “unwillingness to be more forthcoming in providing discovery which counsel needs….”
In a reply also filed today, United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello and Assistant US Attorneys W.S. Wilson Leung and Christine Y. Wong argued that: “ To date, the Government has produced over a thousand pages of discovery, including medical examiner’s report and autopsy photographs; police reports and other reports of investigation related to the murder of Guardado; defendant’s criminal history; arrest report (including defendant’s statement) and arrest photographs; and phone records.”