The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, which has as much suction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as any newspaper in the country, reports that Montebello (California) Police Department “gang expert” and frequent ATF Task Force Officer Sergeant Chris Cervantes was detained by police during a party at the Residence Inn in San Diego on July 23.
No charges were filed as a result of the incident. Cervantes remains on duty.
The Tribune based its report on “documents provided by a source close to the Montebello Police Department.” The Tribune admitted that the documents were “incomplete” because, according to a second confidential source, the material contained in three missing pages is “irrelevant.”
Cops Gone Wild
Cervantes was a participant in a party in a common area of the hotel. When the partiers refused to leave the common area, hours after it closed, a hotel employee called police. According to the documents cited by the Tribune, Cervantes attempted to “intimidate” San Diego police officers who responded to the call. Cervantes also refused to be cuffed and had to be physically restrained.
Police restrained Cervantes in order to protect hotel employees from him, according to the documents cited by the Tribune.
The police report states, “As I started to search him, Cervantes told me, I have ammo in my pocket because I’m an ATF agent with the Montebello Police Department, I’m one of you.” Cervantes had five .38 caliber bullets in his pocket when he was searched. After Cervantes began to fight, “I abandoned getting my handcuffs and had to use both hands to gain control of him by grabbing his right wrist and pushing him against the glass windows of the hotel,” the San Diego cop reported.
The Montebello Police Department is aware of the incident which had been hidden under a rug until the Tribune’s source revealed the incident to that paper. Cervantes was the Montebello Police Department’s Officer of the Year in 1985.
Cervantes was one of 18 people praised by United States Attorney General Eric Holder in September and at an awards dinner three months after the San Diego incident for “Exceptional Work in the Investigation and Prosecution of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.” Cervantes worked as a Confidential Informant during that investigation.
Others who received awards for the entrapment and railroading of 79 members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club included: Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Brunwin, Reema El-Amamy and Steve Welk; Supervising ATF Agents Eric Harden and Monique Villegas; male undercover agents Darrin Kozlowski, Paul D’Angelo, Greg Gaioni and John Carr; female undercovers Jenna Maguire, Erin Zapata, Holley Longacre and April Howell; and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies Agostino Brancato, David Luther and Michael Williams who all worked as Confidential Informants during Operation Black Rain.
Cervantes was unavailable to speak to The Aging Rebel when this page called him to get his side of the Tribune’s report.