Peter “Bouncer” Soto was arrested by La Policía Estatal Preventiva (The Baja California Preventative Police or PEP) in the La Sierra section of Tijuana, Mexico on July 26. PEP spokesman Alfredo Arenas Moreno said the arrest was the fruit of a routine sweep.
Soto was indicted in October 2008 under the RICO statute for being a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. Soto was a member of the Hollywood chapter of the club and a friend of Ruben “Lil Rubes” Cavazos. He was also a witness to many of the events in recent Mongols history including the Book Expo Celebrity Dinner at Restaurant 208 in Beverly Hills on May 30, 2008 thrown by Doc’s literary agent, Alan Nevins. At this writing, Nevins remains uncharged.
Federal prosecutor Christopher Brunwin may hold some evidence that Soto sold recreational amounts of recreational drugs and that, like most people in Los Angeles, he sometimes carried a gun. In reply to a direct question in an interview last year, Soto stated flatly, “I don’t do drugs. Never done coke in my life. Never done crystal…. I never talked to Doc about anything illegal.”
Where In The World Is….
Soto was always best known in Hollywood as a bon vivant. One early riding companion was the television game show host George Gray. Another early companion was Tim “Big Tim” Medvetz, a Hells Angel who was one of the stars of the Discovery Channel series Everest Beyond the Limit. Soto was a familiar and memorable character along the walk of fame. He got his nickname because he worked, mostly, as a bouncer in Hollywood clubs.
In the same interview Bouncer said, “Just use my name at any club in Hollywood. You’ll get right in.” Soto went on to succinctly describe his appealing personal philosophy: “Let’s fuck bitches. Let’s ride our bikes. Let’s be brothers.” He also said, “I miss the club. I miss the life and I miss riding. I dream about the brothers all the time.”
AT first glance, the U.S. Marshalls Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation all apparently found Soto impossible to find. He was featured on the now defunct Fox Television vigilante show America’s Most Wanted three times. Since Soto is six feet four inches tall and weighs 400 pounds a reasonable person might think he would be easy to spot. But he remained eerily invisible to the police.
“Ever trained as a ninja?”
“Ever heard of Don Juan, the Yaqui sorcerer?”
It is possible but unlikely that Bouncer Soto, a pleasant man with a gravelly voice and a talent for intimidating glares, has the power to appear only when he wants to be seen. But, the likeliest explanation for Soto’s long disappearance is less magical and more mundane. The police simply did not look for Soto very hard because he never did anything very bad. The ATF, Fox Television and Prosecutor Christopher Brunwin may not understand how contrived, corrupt, disgusting and essentially empty the 2008 case against the Mongols has been but the FBI and even the US Marshalls do.
Down Mexico Way
Soto was in Tijuana at the time of his apprehension because he liked Tijuana. He always liked Tijuana. He recognized that two of the undercover agents in Operation Black Rain, Gregory “Russo” Giaoni and Paul “Painter” D’Angelo, were cops because they refused to ride across the border into Tijuana with him. After that Soto called them “the TJs. I couldn’t tell them apart. I tried to tell Doc. He didn’t want to hear it. I figured, by then, fuck it. What did they have? You know. If they have anything it’s too late now.”
As it turned out, what the agents did not have they made up.
Besides being charged with racketeering, Soto has been indicted for drug and weapons violations. According to the PEP’s Moreno, Soto will eventually also be charged with “attempted homicide, violent robbery” and “weapons trafficking.” Moreno also said Soto and another Mongol named Oscar Olivas will be charged with the murder of an unnamed Hells Angel.
The ever continuing Mongols case, one of the few remaining vital signs of the comatose American economy, may linger for years more. Soto’s trial, if it ever gets that far, may be the end of the case. Or, maybe not.
Soto was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to all charges against him on August 22. His trial is currently scheduled to begin October 18, 2011 at 8:30 am in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building in Santa Ana, California before United States District Judge David O. Carter.