Mongols Win Case Again

September 27, 2010

All Posts, Editorials, News

The Mongols Motorcycle Club has won the Mongols Motorcycle Club case again. In a ruling issued September 21st and filed September 24th, Federal District Judge Otis D. Wright has ruled that the United States cannot seize the name and patch of the club.

Judge Wright ruled that his previously issued “preliminary order of forfeiture is rendered invalid.”

The issue of whether the Department of Justice and the ATF could simply steal the name and the patch of the Mongols Motorcycle Club was settled definitively in July 2009. But then Christopher Brunwin and Steven Welk, two of the prosecutors in this case, as well as the ATF Agents who had created the case, just simply refused to believe they had lost and the Mongols had won. The presiding judge then, the late Florence-Marie Cooper wrote an angry decision which stated unequivocally that the government could not seize the marks. Last week Judge Wright wrote, “United States District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper already ruled upon the issues relevant to this proceeding.”

In short, the prosecutors in this case have argued for two years that former Mongols president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos could forfeit the Mongols name and patch as part of his “punishment.” Two federal judges have now ruled the Mongols insignia is not Cavazos’ to give away.

Last week, Judge Wright wrote:

“Even if the Court were to accept the Government’s evidence that Ruben Cavazos controlled the use of the mark during his tenure as National President, there is no support for the notion that a defendant’s control of property belonging to a RICO enterprise is sufficient to establish a forfeitable ownership interest in the property. In addition, there is no evidence that Ruben Cavazos owned a majority interest or any interest in the Mongol Nation that would equate to an ownership interest in the mark. There is no evidence that Shotgun Productions, LLC ever used the mark as a collective membership mark – to indicate membership in an organization substantially similar to that of the Mongol Nation. The purported assignment to Shotgun Productions, LLC is therefore without legal effect. Moreover, the Government’s evidence demonstrates that the Mongol Nation began using the collective mark in approximately 1969, and either Mongol Nation or (MNMC) continues to use the mark to identify their members. (Guevara Decl. ¶ 6.) The Mongol Nation and (MNMC) by virtue of having used the collective membership mark since 1969, having registered the mark in 2005, and having continued use of the mark to identify members of the club, have acquired and maintained exclusive ownership in the collective membership mark at issue.”

Criminal Enterprise

The government has attempted to prove that the Mongols is a “criminal enterprise” by blackmailing Cavazos and more than 60 other members of the club into “confessing” that the government’s allegation is true. The weapon the government has used to force these confessions is the severe penalties provided by the RICO Act. Simply by accusing these defendants of “racketeering” the government was able to cynically manipulate the justice system. In some cases, defendants confessed only to being members or officers of the motorcycle club. The actual charges against most of the defendants were for violations of state law.

What Brunwin and the other prosecutors actually proved was that after being tortured with a RICO prosecution defendants become like prisoners of the North Vietnamese: They will confess to anything. And history may remember Brunwin for that.

In most cases the charges against defendants were either blatantly contrived or completely invented out of air. The case demonstrates the evolution of American policing. To this day, most citizens think “police work” is “solving crimes.” It is common for even cynical and bright people to still think that professional police “solve” murders, robberies and rapes. In the Mongols case, the investigators were evaluated on their ability to create crimes.

What Was Happening Here

What the government tried to do in the Mongols case was to outlaw this motorcycle club by seizing the name and the symbol club members wear on their backs – which bikers call colors. When lawyers cast their magic spells they use the Latin word indicia. Judge Carter prefers to call these expressions that Mongols wear on their backs insignia.

Effectively outlawing the Mongols by forbidding them the use of the symbols they use to identify themselves was the original point of this case. The prosecutors must have thought that seizing the indicia would be a heartbreakingly brilliant strategy to obviate Article One, Clause three of the Constitution, which is the part of the American idea that forbids guilt by association. The press release that accompanied the unsealing of the indictment gloated:

“The racketeering indictment seeks the forfeiture of the trademarked ‘Mongols’ name, which is part of the ‘patch’ members wear on their motorcycle jackets.

“‘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,’ said United States Attorney Thomas P. O’Brien. ‘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.’”

Successfully seizing the Mongols indicia would have also allowed the ATF to forbid patch holders and their suspected sympathizers Constitutional refuge from unreasonable searches and seizures and summary punishment without due process.

It would have worked like this: Once the indicia was forfeited ATF thugs could have carried out violent searches of homes and businesses looking for the forbidden symbol. The searches were common in the summer of 2009 and the point of them was not and would not be to gather or preserve “evidence” but to summarily punish “bad guys.” Private places are routinely damaged and wrecked in these searches as a method of punishment. Children are terrorized, parents are assaulted, robbed and bullied, pets are gunned down and sometimes the targets of these searches are murdered as a form of extra-judicial summary punishment.

Judge Wright’s ruling last week is another small step to slowing all that down, too.

Share
, , , , , , , , ,

67 Responses to “Mongols Win Case Again”

  1. Charlie O Says:

    I’m not supporter of the Mongol Nation, however, this is excellent news for bikers everywhere, not just patch holders. I have said from the first time I read about the government’s attempt to seize the Mongol marque that it could not stand. Attempting to seize the Mongol patch was just going to get people hurt and/or killed. I know many a patch holder who would not hesitate to kill a LEO attempting to take his patch. I know I would. Congratulations to the Mongols MC on this win.

  2. not-a-hippie Says:

    Good for them. I always get a laugh out of the name and patch artwork and ain’t that what a club is about? Fast times, fast bikes, faster women?

    The feds can once again suck rotten eggs through a crooked straw…

  3. bob Says:

    Rebel,I just noticed that the release of Kerrie Droban’s latest book has been pushed back to Winter’11.Wonder why.

  4. Shyster Says:

    ” … eating chow mein at Lee Ho Fook’s in Leicester Square in London.” Too damn funny!!! May he choke on a small bone.

  5. Rebel Says:

    Dear Pauly,

    Doc Cavazos was voted out bad at an all members meeting of the Mongols Motorcycle Club at the House Lounge in Vernon, California on August 30, 2008. The meeting was conducted by two respectfully regarded members of the club who became defendants in the case named for Doc — US v. Cavazos et al. Doc was voted out for stealing from the club and for exacerbating a prolonged dispute with the South Siders.

    Doc had been controversial for awhile. Since motorcycle clubs are brotherhoods first and foremost, I think it is fair to say that some guys still remember him as a decisive and charismatic brother. I don’t know the guy, personally. I have been told that he had great contempt for people who cooperated with the police. I believe at the time he was expelled from the club he was drug addled and being manipulated by the ATF. Whatever he once was, he is definitely snitching now.

    I may be naive about people. Months ago I was told by a very important literary agent in New York that I am “naive about outlaw motorcycle gangs.” Maybe. My naive opinion is that Doc is writing the book already. My naive opinion is that Doc Cavazos has a big, big, big, healthy ego. I don’t know who his co-author will be but I ask a lot of people a lot of questions so I do not believe it will be Julian Sher, Chris Blatchford, Doug Century or Kerrie Droban. He probably cannot sign a book deal until after he is released.

    I think he will be released into the US Marshals Service Witness Security Program in 2011 after being sentenced in camera. I think the book will be released in May 2012. Just an educated guess about how long these things take. If he does have a book out for summer 2012 he will start giving interviews in April 2012.

    I don’t think he will say he is born again or any of that and I don’t expect him to trash motorcycle clubs. Just the opposite. People love motorcycle clubs. All Doc has to do is give good citizens an inside look at the dangerous, romantic and thrilling outlaw world. That is what he will sell and a lot of what he will say will be true. He will just leave out the parts where he was obviously stupid, corrupt and crazy.

    I think he will be everywhere. I think he will be on Joy fucking Behar. I think he will be fucking Lindsay Lohan. There will be photos in People Magazine of him eating chow mein at Lee Ho Fook’s in Leicester Square in London and sipping red wine at little cafes in Saint Germain des Pres in Paris. TMZ will video him coming out of Trader Vic’s in West Hollywood wearing a $500 Aloha shirt. I think Angelina Jolie will leave Brad Pitt for him. I think he will chair a UN Summit on Children. I think he will sing a serenata romantica at Farm Aid and poor white trash dirt farmers in Arkansas will cry. Eventually, this motherfucker might run for Governor of California. Get used to it. Enjoy this blessed silence while it lasts. Doc’s gonna be bigger than the Beatles. Life is not fair.

    your pal,
    Rebel

  6. Pauly Says:

    Anyone know how the news was broken to Doc that he was no longer the prez of the mnogols???Because i was reading another site 5years ago and people and mongol members were pissed at him and that was in 2005 after he started a war with the eme so how did they decide all these years later to kick him out and how did they do it

    People want to know docs future i will tell u what it is.He will be the sam gravano but in the biker world after he finishes his sentence he will write another book and go on talkshows and even visit collages,he will make lots of money doing it too and will also say that he has found god and that all bike clubs are evil

  7. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Congrats to those who won…again, including all lovers of freedom from government oppression.

    By the way Rebel, I have to respectfully disagree with one thing you wrote. You wrote, “To this day, most citizens think “police work” is “solving crimes.” It is common for even cynical and bright people to still think that professional police “solve” murders, robberies and rapes.”

    Well, I would posit that “professional police” do spend their time trying to solve murders, robberies, and rapes. I just don’t think anyone involved in this type of nonsense investigation deserves to be called “professional police.” True, the ATF agents and others that play biker may want to associate themselves with real and imagined police officers, but they also imagine themselves to be outlaw bikers as well. Frankly, I don’t think they merit being put in either category.

    Good article, and thank you for the update.

    GW

  8. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    Congratulations from a citizen to the Mongols MC on a victory for free speech and also against “guilt by association”–an un-American concept which was supposedly put to rest the last time a “committee on un-American activities” tried to use it. I only wish it did not all come at such great personal cost to you and your families.

    Respect,
    SVD

  9. Rebel Says:

    Dear theone,

    Doc kept his end of the deal he made with the feds. I have not seen Doc’s plea and sentencing agreement. It is a national secret. But the federal end of it would be open ended. I think that probably the understanding was that Doc would tell the ATF and the DOJ whatever they wanted to hear and in return he would be released into the witness protection program in something like three years. But technically, Brunwin can screw over Doc any way he wants and it is all legal and good.

    Personally, my guess is that Doc will be a free man between late 2011 and early 2012.

    I do not know how this affects the deal his son has made. Part of the leverage the government had to have on Doc was his son’s potential liability.

    I also don’t know to what extent either of the two Ruben Cavazos are expected to testify in either the possible trial of Stoney Ablett or the likely trial of Largo Gonzalez. I am very unclear about what the government thinks it has on Gonzalez. There is some hearsay that he delivered money to Doc. The government says he got a “Respect Few, Fear None” patch. Some wiretap allegedly proves that he knew about a violent beef between the Mongols and the Marra Villa clique. He had the misfortune to talk to Lars Wilson. He was a club officer. Unless the feds can PROVE the Mongols MC is a criminal racket, I don’t know what they really have on Gonzalez.

    And yet on this shit goes. Nobody in the government actually seems to know how much it will all cost and I have asked a lot of people. I think $150 million. For real. Which is fairly serious money. The government could save a lot of people’s mortgages for $150 million.

    That is how much Our Government has invested in Doc Cavazos intelligence gathering or testimony or whatever it is going to get. Doc will be out when they wring his soul dry. Like I said, he will be a free man in 2012. Maybe sooner.

    Keep the faith,
    Rebel

  10. JAMES Says:

    The articles posted by OULAWS M.C. MEMBER, SPIKE1%er are at, http://www.fedsgonebad.blogspot.com/ Very worthwhile reading.

  11. Shyster Says:

    The L.A County Jail smells something fierce the morning after burrito night.

  12. I.E. Cochino Says:

    Congrats to the Black and White Nation! Long time reader here Rebel, 1st time I’ve felt like I had somethin’ to say! Good to see that people can fight and win the good fight….Cheers to the Aging Rebel, and to the Mongols M/C….Fly em’ with pride!

    SYLV,

    IE Cochino

  13. Grumbler Says:

    Rebel – might want to use ASL (American Sign Language) the next time you call something a motherfucking piece of shit unless you’d rather masticate a refried bean and cheese burrito and let out a loud, juicy ripper while handcuffed inside a police car. ;)

  14. theone Says:

    So rebel!! what happends with docs plea deal know that the trademark cant be part of the deal?.

  15. Rebel Says:

    Dear Dago Peckerwood,

    Mike Munz is currently scheduled to be sentenced by Judge David O. Carter in Orange County on November 10th and 7:30 am.

    If they’re going to arrest you they will find something. I was once arrested for disorderly conduct for calling my front tire a “motherfucking piece of shit” at the air pump in a gas station in Torrance. After that I lost the ponytail and and about half the mustache.

    Try to stay free.

    Rebel

  16. Bud Says:

    Rebel, Thanks for bringing this news to light, beacause although the mainstream media was all over this case at the beginning show l.e.’s flaunting their “accomplishment”, they damn sure wont be reporting anything that makes the feds look bad.
    As Dirty Bruin stated, this is way bigger than the Mongol’s or any of us as individuals. The sad part is that when trying to inform people of this and its implications and the affect it could have, most people just dont get it. Popular belief is “that dont matter , theyre not comin after me, its them they want”. Its plain as day to me at least, they are comin after them, they just havent got there yet.

    Bud

  17. dago peckerwood Says:

    Rebel, any word on the munz sentence wasn’t his attorney sick last court date? I also got court love this week as i was discharged from a b.s. assault case that involved false arrest,selective enforcement,and malicious prosecution,among other things.Par for the course down in Dago. another local club just won $70,000 from a lawsuit against the Chula Vista P.D. I need 2 talk 2 their lawyer. Respectfully, Dago Wood

  18. DirtyBruin Says:

    Congratulations to the Mongols M/C – the importance of knocking down this attack is enormous. If the government managed to set a precedent that they could sieze an identity, it wouldn’t be long before any kind of group (not just M/Cs) some jackass prosecutor didn’t like would be facing that threat.

  19. Rebel Says:

    Dear The Creep,

    Yeah, it is all head games and intimidation. Some defense attorneys are well intnetioned. are competent and get it. And some others of those guys are just there to get paid, they don’t like you any more than the prosecutor does and they literally have no idea how to mount a criminal defense.

    Good luck,
    Rebel

  20. Jabba Says:

    Thanks for asking – doing better than some, not as good as others. Got a hole in my back you could put your fist in, but I also got a job at last. Doc’ reckons I’d be a complete (and I quote) “friggin idiot to get on a bike again any time soon.”

    Last I looked, he’s about twelve and hasn’t started shaving yet.

    My wife agrees with him, and these days she punches harder than I do.

    But I’m working on it.

    I figure by next season I might be in a position to buy wheels AND fight.

    Thanks again.

    Jabba
    SYLO

  21. BigV Says:

    Jabba: How you healing up ?

    Hope you’re able to get on another bike soon.

  22. Jabba Says:

    BIG congratulations to the Mongols Nation. Party hard and fly those colours with pride in the face of every LE fuck in the land!!!

    Just wonder what the next move, in the legal chess-game of persecution and murder of the innocent, is going to be.

    All strength and respect to the black and white.

    Jabba

  23. proudmongolwife Says:

    Rebel,

    You got that right. the damage is already done with. i just dont understand how that son of a b**** can sleep at night knowing the hurt a family goes thru. and you are right he dont know jack s*** cause i remember in the court room he held up the federal guideline book and said to my husband “this is what im going based on” right then and there i knew he didnt know very much! but like a good friend says “IT IS WHAT IT IS” thanks for the awesome news, and for your kindness!!

  24. BigV Says:

    DocB:

    This is a quote from where one was issued “…to include any gang indicia that would establish the persons being sought in this warrant…”

    How have they been used ?

    Indicia warrants are issued to establish links to a group or with known members to establish links to outsiders, to give LE the opportunity to seize materials as indicia that they would otherwise have to have a specific search warrant for- ie because something says Flying Foxes MC Checking Account, they seize those records even though the warrant doesn’t say financial history- they seize it because it says FFMC and it has “group indicia” on it.

    Sadly, indicia warrants are alive and well and costly- James Hicks died because some trigger happy feds went fishing for indicia.

    Outlaw Spike 1%er has written several things in this regard that are well worth reading. And on those lines, I highly recommend interested parties check out his most recently updated post from September 26 of this year.

  25. DocB Says:

    Anyone:
    On what grounds were indicia warrants issued?
    Does this mean that they can no longer serve “Indicia” warrants?
    Thanks
    Doc

  26. Big Bry Says:

    Congratulations to the Mongols Nation! This ruling is great news for all clubs around the country.

  27. Shyster Says:

    … And a big congrats to the attorneys who have the stones to stand up to the prosecution whores and their lying “law enforcement” cronies. Long live the beating heart of the US Constitution! FTW.

    Shyster

  28. Muck 1%er Says:

    Sincerest thanks to you for your efforts in keeping on top of this and keeping the public informed. Do you know where I can read a complete copy of the ruling?

  29. The Creep Says:

    Rebel,

    Is it just me being paranoid or does it seem that the standard practice by the gov’ment these days (or maybe it always has been) is to just bring it to trials, evidence be damned, and hope the defendant gets scared enough to cop a plea? Hell, the Orange County district attorney just did that to me over an alleged suspended license. Threatened me with 30 days in jail, motorcycle confiscation, interlock device on my truck, $2500 fine, and GPS on my bike if they didn’t end up taking it. They threatened me all the way up to the pre-trial, where I showed up with the best public defender ever and about 10 lbs of DMV paperwork. The fucking assistant D.A. walks up to the judge, whispers to him, judge announces the case is dismissed. 3 months of stressing for nothing. They were playing head games.

  30. pretjah Says:

    awesome news!!!!!!!!

  31. Rebel Says:

    Dear proudmongolwife,

    No, Judge Wright hung your husband because he is clueless and heartless. I am sorry.

    Judge Wright ruled in favor of Mongols Nation because there was no reasonable way not to. If he had ruled against the Mongols here he would have been overturned by the ninth circuit in about a minute. What is interesting is that Welk and Brunwin pursued the matter as far as they did. What is interesting is that last January, before Judge Cooper was even in the ground, John Torres, the Agent in charge of ATF in el lay, was telling the San Gabriel Valley News that Judge Wright, who hadn’t even been named yet, might overrule Judge Cooper. I think what is most interesting about this ruling is how stupid Torres, Brunwin and Welk all obviously think Judge Wright is. And, of course Judge Wright does not know any of this. He thinks Torres, Brunwin and Welk are all good guys. He probably thinks they like him.

    My deepest sympathy,
    Rebel

  32. Marine Rider Says:

    Hey Rebel,

    You have read the whole case file on this I assume, any chance the Mongol Nation could turn around and sue the government right back under the Hyde Amendment to recoup their legal costs? I think this case is governed by the 9th circuit and according to them the case would have to be proven “deficient and without merit” and the prosecutor “acted maliciously or with an intent to harass”.

    It seems clear that since this case was already tried once, retrying it is again with no new evidence would clearly be without merit, and there is little doubt the only reason they brought it up a second time was to harass the club members. Whaddayathink?

  33. Rebel Says:

    Dear cdgrider,

    It will be on the news when pigs fly through the arctic wastelands of Hell. It will be on the news when Tha Situation, Bristol Palin and Lindsay Lohan talk to reporters about it. Sorry dude.

    Look, while I’m at it, that time you left that tooth under your pillow and when you woke up it had turned into a couple of quarters? Oh never mind.

    Tonight. The Mongols case will be on the news tonight. Or maybe tomorrow

    Keep the faith.

    your pal,
    Rebel

  34. Fatdaddylv Says:

    A victory for all! Thank you to the Mongols Nation for continuing to fight for the rights of everyone. Much LL&R to the Mongols Nation.

  35. proudmongolwife Says:

    Now thats what im talking about baby….. Otis Wright hung my husband and i hated him for that. but i guess hes alright… good looking out judge…. and to all the brothers fly them awesome ass colors

  36. Detroit Dutch Says:

    Carried over to the BBB Newsletter (NCOM) for inclusion in their next publication. Congradulations to the MNMC and the “Patcholders” who have contrubuted (Patcholders Defense Fund) time and money in the defense of something we all have a stake in (Big V)

  37. Hermis Says:

    Congratulations to the Mongols MC!

    Thank you Rebel for your dedication, and countless hours spent researching this case-attending court hearings-and sharing your findings with us all!

    We would not have access to “the rest of the story” were it not for your courage and, devotion to the rights of ALL Americans.

    Certainly the MC world benefits greatly from your gift of reporting “the whole story” in a manner not anywhere else.

    In fact, every American benefits from your gift.

    I am one of many who read, with great interest, this page’s reporting on the Mongols MC case.

    Its out-come having such great implications to Americans at large.

    The Mongols MC case is significant in the lives of so many Americans who don’t have a clue as to what the hell is truly happening in this country, regarding our collective right to be free from shit bag law enforcement officers/prosecutors and judges-who think the mere existence of their jobs/agencies gives them the authorization to stomp on our Constitutionally Protected Rights at will!

    Wednesday, October 6th @ 8PM(EST) I will honor the work of Rebel during my “Live” internet radio broadcast.

    Thank you Rebel, and congratulations to the Mongols MC.

    Respectfully,
    Hermis

    Wednesday October 6th @ 8PM(EST) I will air a “Live” broadcast on the on the

  38. JAMES Says:

    Thanks to all MEMBERS OF THE MONGOLS MOTORCYCLE CLUB for staying true to the beliefs and loyalty to THE CLUB, and for everyone for helping to take a stand in the fight for our existence as it took every MEMBER to win this, and thanks to REBEL for posting on this ongoing venture keeping people informed and up to speed with the progress, and thanks to all for supporting this fight in whatever manner you helped, LONG LIVE THE MONGOLS MOTORCYCLE CLUB.

  39. troyez Says:

    Excellent work by the defense (and the judge) in bringing about a just ruling, but this is just one victory in a war with more battles to come. Good news nonetheless.
    T

  40. Robert aka Bear Says:

    I knew that the Black & White Nation would win. Nw we have a good idea of who the RATs are. Like I have always said “”IT HAS BEEN & WILL ALWAYS BE A BLACK & WHITE WORLD (NATION)”” Much L&R to all the brothers.
    Bear (1%er in 1970’s & one until I die)

  41. Hlywd Marc Says:

    Respect to The Mongol Nation for fighting the good fight.

  42. Squirts Says:

    Agreed with the posts above. A big thank you to Rebel and to those in our society willing to place themselves at odds with the establishment to speak/ write the truth. Kudos to the Mongols MC as well. Their victory should resonate through not only the motorcycle world, but to any and all fraternal organizations, associations and groups who share a common symbol. This battle is won, but the war continues… Respects

  43. cufcis Says:

    HHHHHUUUUUAAAAHHHHH!!! Thank you rebel for being the eyes and ears for the public and cant wait for the book, Keep up the good work.

  44. Muck 1%er Says:

    BTW,
    Sincere thanks to you for your efforts in keeping on top of this and keeping the public informed.

  45. Muck 1%er Says:

    Rebel,
    Do you know where I can read a complete copy of the ruling?

  46. cdgrider Says:

    how come i didnt see this on the news? i mean, when they took the patch, i couldnt watch an episode of spongebob with my kid without them cutting to that idiot behind the podium holding the patch. and now that the government has been proven wrong, its seems kind of hush hush… i want to see this on the news… i’d love it !

  47. ANARCHYFACTORY Says:

    http://www.fofwear.com FOE The rat family
    Congratulation to the Mongol Nation and lil Dave and keep the fight going for BBB ( F T F )
    Respect , Steve

  48. RVN69 Says:

    Congratulations to the Mongol Nation,
    While we will never know the true cost to you for this victory, your fight for freedom was a victory for us all. A sincere thanks for what you have done for every patchholder.

    Honesta Mors, Turpi vita Potior.

  49. BigV Says:

    Thanks to the Mongols for persevering and fighting a very necessary fight.

    Next: DOWN WITH RICO !

    BRING BACK FREEDOM !

Leave a Reply