Ciccone, Kozlowski To Testify At Ablett Trial

December 27, 2011

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The outlines of the prosecution and the defense in the trial of Mongol Christopher Bryan “Stoney” Ablett are beginning to appear out of the legal fog.

Ablett is accused of murdering Hells Angel San Francisco charter President Mark “Papa” Guardado on September 2, 2008 on behalf of the “Mongols gang.” The trial is scheduled to begin January 23 in the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco before U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg.

In documents filed in the last month William Frentzen and Kathryn Haun, the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who will prosecute the case against Ablett, have indicated at least some of the witnesses and some of the evidence they intend to introduce at trial. Ablett faces life in prison if he is convicted.

Co-Conspirator Statements

Among the evidence the prosecution still refuses to disclose are “the statements of alleged co-conspirators to the purported RICO enterprise identified as the Mongols Motorcycle Club. These statements are attributed to a number of Mongols, many of whom were later arrested and charged with being a member of a RICO conspiracy… members of the Mongols listed as declarants” include Ruben “Doc” Cavazos.”

The prosecution has given no indication that it will actually call on Cavazos to testify. Cavazos was sentenced to 14 years in prison by Judge Otis Wright in a secret hearing in September. ATF Special Agent John Ciccone and ATF Tactical Field Officer and Montebello Police Sergeant Chris Cervantes openly laughed at Cavazos during that sentencing.

Most of the declarations that will be entered into evidence that the Mongols Motorcycle Club is a criminal racket were made “in the course of executing plea agreements, cooperation agreements and the entry of pleas.” Some of those plea and cooperation agreements remain under seal and have not been available to Ablett’s attorneys, Richard B. Mazer and Michael N. Burt.

Murder Weapon

The prosecution also continues to withhold information about the weapon Ablett allegedly used to murder Guardado. Guardado’s autopsy report indicates that he died as a result of “multiple gunshot wounds.”

Ablett and Guardado allegedly fought outside a bar called Dirty Thieves at the corner of 24th Street and Treat Avenue in San Francisco. Witness statements about the murder are often contradictory. One witness said Guardado’s last words were “He keeps stabbing me!” Guardado was stabbed as well as shot.

The prosecution still refuses to disclose “the type of weapon Ablett used to commit his deadly assault.”


In a memorandum filed with the court on December 23, the prosecution articulated its intention to make the brawl between members of the Mongols and Hells Angels Motorcycle Clubs in Harrah’s in Laughlin, Nevada in April 2002 an issue in the Ablett case. The memo states:

“The incident at Laughlin is directly relevant because it provides context for the defendant’s motivation to commit murder in this case, i.e. that the victim was a Hells Angels member. The Laughlin incident is the single most important reason for the dangerous rivalry that exists between the two enterprises to this day. It provides background and context for the animosity that existed between the Mongols (the enterprise charged in the instant Indictment) and the Hells Angels.”

“…the defendant argues, the government’s position that Laughlin is a racketeering act wherein members of the Mongols conspired to murder and murdered members of the Hells Angels is somehow inconsistent with its earlier prosecution of Hells Angels members. What the defendant fails to appreciate is that the two positions are not mutually exclusive: Just as members of the Mongols conspired to commit various acts to include murder and attempted murder at Laughlin so too did members of the Hells Angels conspire to commit murder and attempted murder at Laughlin. Both groups had members who were armed and ready to fight at the Harrah’s casino. Nothing about the government’s earlier prosecution of the Hells Angels diminishes the fact that it also involved the Mongols. In fact, two Hells Angels members were murdered and one Mongols member was murdered at Laughlin. The violent melee went both directions, and the government should not be precluded from presenting Laughlin as a racketeering act simply because it previously prosecuted members of the Hells Angels for the events arising out of Laughlin.”

“What the government is seeking to prove with Laughlin that is entirely relevant to not one but two elements the government must prove is simply that: (1) there is a history of animosity between the two groups; (2) that history includes a violent melee that occurred at Laughlin that involved violence on the part of both groups; and (3) the event at Laughlin transformed what had previously been a dangerous rivalry into a full scale “war” between the two groups for which there had been no truce by September 2, 2008 when the defendant killed Mark Guardado. The government does not intend to prove up the Laughlin incident in a matter that suggests one party. Namely, the government must prove (1) that an enterprise existed and (2) that it engaged in racketeering activity. Laughlin is directly relevant to demonstrating both that the Mongols was an enterprise and that the enterprise was engaged in racketeering activity.”

“The government intends to prove this particular racketeering act through the testimony of two witnesses, a few minutes of video surveillance that show both the Hells Angels and Mongols engaged in a fight, and several photos….”

Defense Fund

The government will also attempt to convince a jury that the Mongols is a racket because the club helps members with legal expenses in criminal cases. The prosecution characterizes this legal fund raising as one tactic used by an “unlawful motorcycle gang.”

The prosecution intends to tell the jury that “…members of the Mongols, at one point, discussed collecting funds for the defense of defendant Ablett and that they were considering covering defendant Ablett’s defense.”

On June 4, 2009 ATF Special Agent John Ciccone told the grand jury that indicted Ablett for racketeering: “If a Mongol is arrested and a crime that he committed was in furtherance of the gang; so, for example, he gets into a fight with a rival gang member or a Hells Angel, he was doing that because that’s the protocol of the gang and it was in furtherance of the gang. Then the Mongols would take up a collection through what they term a ‘defense fund.’ They would charge each member of each chapter a specific amount of money that would go to that individual’s defense fund to pay off lawyer fees, court costs, or whatever because the criminal act that he committed was in furtherance of the gang.”

Ablett’s legal expenses have never actually been reimbursed by the Mongols Motorcycle Club, the prosecution explains, because “they could not cover the expenses of defense counsel for all Mongols members after the Black Rain case was taken down and about 100 or more of them were all facing criminal charges at the same time, perhaps they wrote defendant Ablett off because he was facing a possible federal death penalty case….”


One of the ATF Agents who patched into the Mongols in order to entrap and subvert them, Special Agent Darrin Kozlowski, will testify at Ablett’s trial. Kozlowski will testify that he overheard Mongols discuss helping Ablett with his legal expenses.

Kozlowski will also testify that he saw three Modesto chapter Mongols including Ablett smoking marijuana at a party on June 22 2008. Kozlowski will also testify that at that party he arranged to buy heroin from Jorge “Solo” Viramontes for $1,500 an ounce. According to the pertinent Report of Investigation, ROI 605, Kozlowski did not record the conversation “due to the spontaneity of Viramontes approaching SA Kozlowski at the party” at which Ablett was preesent.

Kozlowski will testify that at the same party a “strict ‘Code 55’ was (put) in effect. That notice prohibited any Mongols members from wearing Mongols insignia due to an altercation with a rival gang…. Ablett’s presence with other Mongols at a time when a Code 55 is put out is of obvious relevance to this case – as SA Kozlowski can testify that, as a Mongols chapter Sergeant at Arms, his responsibility immediately on receiving a Code 55 was to notify all other members of his chapter. Therefore, the Sergeant at Arms of the Modesto chapter of the Mongols was responsible to notify all members of that chapter immediately on receiving the national Code 55.”

Kozlowski will also testify about purchases of cocaine and methamphetamine he made while investigating the Mongols.

Kozlowski may also testify to his official account of the aftermath of the murder of a Mongol Named Manuel “Hitman” Martin as stated in ROI 800 which was written, signed and dated about a month after the murder. In that report, Kozlowski states that he was told by a Mongol named Shawn “Monster” Buss that “the shooter who killed Martin” was a “Toonerville gang member.” According to Kozlowski, he learned that the motive for the murder may have been that “a member of 311 Bikerz checked a couple of unknown male individuals.”


The government’s most authoritative witness when it presents its case against Ablett will be ATF “gang expert” John Ciccone. Ciccone is expected to testify about the “Laughlin Riot” and the criminal nature of both the Mongols and the Hells Angels. Ciccone is the author of much of the language in Ablett’s indictment.

Before the grand jury that indicted Ablett, Ciccone testified to the criminal nature of the possible establishment of a legal defense fund for the accused man.

In that testimony a prosecutor asked Ciccone, “What happens if the a criminal act the individual was involved in was not in furtherance of the gang? Does that individual get a defense fund?”

And Ciccone replied, “ No. He would basically be on his own.”

Later in the same testimony, Ciccone was asked, “When you testified previously about defense funds being set up and you talked about defense funds in general with the Mongols organization, was such a defense fund set up for Christopher Ablett?”

Ciccone, “Yes.”

“How do you know that?”

“Once he once he self-surrendered after being on the run for a few months, the topic was brought up at a members meeting that they were going to start providing a certain amount of defense funds for Chris Ablett’s defense.”

“And was it a members meeting … Where was this members meeting? Do you recall?”

“I don’t remember the exact location. It was a meeting in Los Angeles.”

“And was it a members meeting of a specific chapter or an ‘all members’ type meeting?”


“I think it was a sergeant at arms/presidents meeting, if I can recall correctly, which would mean just those two people that held those positions in their respective chapters would be in attendance….”

“One thing you discussed was the discussion among he Mongols about setting up a legal defense fund for Ablett. Do you know whether such a legal defense fund was actually established on his behalf?”

“That was all. Our case was still going on, and that was all being directed by the former national hierarchy that are now all in custody based off of our investigation, and I have not … Granted we don’t have our undercovers in play anymore, that kind of thing, I have not heard any information recently since our takedown that they’re still continuing to make payments towards his defense.”


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64 Responses to “Ciccone, Kozlowski To Testify At Ablett Trial”

  1. Damon Says:

    @ Rashomon. It seems very unlikely to me, if Uncle Sam ever decides that he no longer wants your huddled mass, that Oz will necessarily welcome you back to her bosom. My hunch is that they’d claim that you’d changed horses mid-stream and therefore very much Someone Else’s Problem. They can be like that – call me cynical, but somehow I don’t think we’d be able to waltz off Qantas Flight 284 in our boardies and slip straight back into the Federal Hotel unnoticed. At best, I reckon you’d be shipped back in chains to maximum security, a la David Hicks.

    I can’t see how any sovereign nation can “un-citizen” somebody who has been born in that country. It’s been done to the Jews and Gypsies and several other groups over the centuries, but I really can’t see America being able to do anything other than detain or deport naturalised citizens – if their birth country is prepared to take them. The inability to place Gitmo’s remaining 175 prisoners indicates that frequently they are not.

    I’m still only a Resident – the main difference between that and a Citizen being that I pay taxes but can’t vote. As my American friends enjoy pointing out, they want my money, not my damned opinion. If Australia or New Zealand (they won’t take chances, they can’t tell us apart) ever bomb Pearl Harbor, you and I will both end up in the same concentration camp.

  2. Austin Says:

    Researching the Judge;

    “Seeborg, who formerly worked as a federal prosecutor in San Jose, as a private lawyer and as a federal magistrate, was appointed as a trial judge by President Obama in 2009. His courtroom is in the San Francisco branch of the federal court..”

    “..he returned to Morrison & Foerster, working as a partner and focusing on a litigation practice in the fields of securities, intellectual property and general commercial matters.”


  3. Rashomon Says:

    @Glenn – I never really got the whole gun thing but based on the “when in Rome” theory, I have one now – when the shit hits the fan, there’s no point standing there with your dick in your hand. I have to say that eight years for shooting some bastard that comes into your house is a rough deal especially when the cops seem happy enough to kick doors in a murder people on the spot – it’s a mess to be sure and buggered if I know what the answer is.

  4. Glenn S. Says:

    Rashomon, I’m not saying Australia is better than here, just that its better than Gitmo, or Iran. I do love this country, but I’m damn disappointed in the fact that the citizenry fails to realize, or care, that the laws empowering the government to go after men wearing turbans also empowers them to go after men wearing patches. Did the citizens really believe, while they were cheering on the War on Terror, that all those laws passed after 9-11 would only be used to go after Islamic terrorists?

    I was a convicted felon before I was 21, so I never had a right to bear arms. I do miss it. I shot and wounded an intruder in my home in 1990. I got 8 years for it, because I was a convicted felon.

  5. Rashomon Says:

    @Glenn – from what I read in the papers, I’m not sure things are much better in Australia and a we never had a lot of what the constitution provides anyhow (right to bear arms etc.). On the other hand if you never had it, you don’t miss it I suppose.

    Truth be told, you’d probably be entitled to more constitutional protections if your wore a turban rather than a patch.

  6. Glenn S. Says:

    Rashomon, at least if they decide to strip you of your citizenship, they will only deport you back to Australia. I’ve never been there, but I’m told its a pretty good place, and I assume you have friends and family there. If they come up with a way to strip those of us who were born here of our citizenship, it’ll be Gitmo, Cheney’s private prisons, some version of parole, or (if I see it coming) maybe political asylum in Canada (if I’m lucky) or some third world shithole where they need industrial engineers without credentials.

    The point being is that the USA has become a country where there are no rights, only priveleges. If assembly, religious choice (including “none of the above”), speech, association, privacy, etc. are priveleges, they can be arbitrarily taken away. Look at “the right to bear arms”. Only select people can do so these days, and the number and nature of “prohibited persons”, who get sent to prison if they dare to excercise this “right”, expands every election cycle. Then there’s the “privelege” of operating a motor vehicle. If you look at any state’s drivers’ manual, it says that driving is a privelege and not a right. But the government treats driving and owning a firearm as essentially the same thing: Politicians and bureaucrats decide who can and who cannot.

    The Supreme Court consistantly rules that the government can squash a right if it can show a “compelling interest”. And it lowers the bar for the “compelling interest” test to the point that it will squash a “right” if the government can articulate a reason for doing so. Congress and state legislatures progressively re-define rights, all in the name of “giving the police the tools they need to keep us safe”. One political party prattles on about freedom, but acts only to preserve the free markets. The other one doesn’t trust us with freedom, and would “protect” us from ourselves and deny us the right to protect ourselves from each other. Even the word “freedom” has been twisted to mean freedom of the majority to shit on everybody else. Meanwhile, everybody gushes over Tim Tebow on the right and whichever empty headed road whore went into rehab on the left, all while our right to due process becomes a privelege.

    The upcoming trial is likely to be (to paraphrase Dylan)a pig circus. Ciccone will be touted as an “expert” in the biker lifestyle. The love of brotherhood will be perverted to look like honor among theives, while the rats will take the honor completely out of it. Whatever the truth is is more likely to be squashed than revealed. The prosecution will be allowed to introduce evidence that is wholly irrelavant to the case while the defense will have their hands tied by a judge that likely has some sort of LEO background.

    Ah well, off my soapbox again. Things will get worse before they get better. I just hope I can play some small role in helping things to get better.

  7. Rashomon Says:

    @chevyweight – how is that different from the way things are now? I’ve been a naturalized citizen for seven years now but if I commit a crime, they can pull my citizenship and throw my arse back to Australia if they feel that way disposed. I assume most countries are that way.

  8. Shyster Says:


    Thankfully, and I do mean that with the utmost sincerity, I have only once set foot in a Federal Criminal Courtroom. And that was for jury duty two years ago. I will assume that the security will be so tight during this trial that the Judge and Bailiff themselves will be required to bend over, grab their butt cheeks and cough prior to the start of jury selection. I will further assume that “gang attire” will not be tolerated in court. If club members wish to be present to support their cause, I would suggest wearing a suit and tie. (I know, I know, fuck them and I will wear whatever I want to wear …) but this is Federal Court. The bench officers are appointed for life. They have crazy power up there and they don’t make that much $$.

    And there will be snipers on all rooftops in and or near the courthouse. Should be fun.


  9. Glenn S. Says:

    Shyster, I applaud your work. The sheep whine and bleat about criminal defense lawyers getting people off “on technicalities”, but they fail to see that only the super rich can afford to match the resources of the prosecution. The prosecution has the deep pockets of the taxpayer from which to draw from. They have a long list of professional “expert” witnesses, degreed paid liars that know which side their bread is buttered on. They have the fucking police at their beck and call, for investigation or intimidation. They have a friendly media willing to poison the jury pool against the defendant. They have the power to grant transactional immunity from prosecution on related or unrelated charges, for those willing to testify to their version of truth. And, if that wasn’t bad enough, they have legislatures that are willing to change the laws every time one of them complains (Here in SC, the circuit solicitor has decision making authority as to whether to punish a defendant under the “3 strikes” laws for such offenses as insurance fraud.) It would be a fairer system if they used a coin toss to determine guilt or innocence and a roulette wheel to determine the number of years spent in prison.

    Irish Dragon and Sled Tramp, I agree with every word you have said.

    Chevyweight, we already have a nacht und nebel decree with this new “indefinate detention” bullshit. Right now, the federal agencies have as much power as the Geheime Staatspoleizi (literally translated: “secret state police”, known as the gestapo) had in Nazi Germany. Under Hitler, the gestapo had only a relative handfull of actual agents. They used informants to do their work, often as agents provacantour. Hitler didn’t order crematory ovens immeadietly upon taking power.

  10. sled tramp Says:

    Qui tacet consentit. – Who keeps silent, consents.

  11. Roy Buchanan Says:

    Austin, you better be a 100% neutral citizen, or an 81 supporter, otherwise you will experience some serious discomfort at this trial and possibly during your stay in the area. It would be good for the defense if the Nation could attend en masse. Let’s be honest though, that’s a recipe for mayhem. Perhaps Shyster could weigh in on this. To my knowledge it is traditional to sit on the side of the room which you support. Defendant’s family and supporters on one side/ prosecution and deceased supporters on the other side. It does seem that to pack the room with only supporters of one team is a subtle( or not so) attempt to influence the jury, to show the deceased as such a great guy, while the defendant does not have the numbers in attendance, whether he is a better man at heart, or not. Don’t underestimate the jury’s intelligence boys. They may just view that as a real insult,trying to dupe them. They may also see it as an attempt to intimidate anyone else from attending, thus backfiring when they view the deceased as a fellow thug. Jury psychology, selection, performance, are an intricate game.
    It’s one week til the kickoff.

  12. chevyweight Says:

    The Enemy Expatriation Act (H.R. 3166; S. 1698), an act that the U.S. Congress is now considering, that will allow the U.S. Government to take away citizenship of anybody that is considered a hostile enemy or supporting hostility towards the U.S. Government, is similar to the Nazi Factions Nuremberg laws where Adolf Hitler took away Germans citizenship based on race, bloodtypes, and those against the Hitler regime.

    “If the Enemy Expatriation Act passes in its current form, the legislation will let the government strike away citizenship for anyone engaged in hostilities, or supporting hostilities, against the United States”

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