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Mongols Forfeiture Trial Continued

Wed, May 16, 2012

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Mongols Forfeiture Trial Continued

What might be the last trial in the never ending Mongols case was continued this morning by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter.

The civil case called United States of America v. Assorted Firearms, Motorcycles and Other Personal Property may finally resolve the issue of whether the federal government can just steal someone’s motorcycle because that someone belongs to a motorcycle club that has been accused of being a racket. The trial had been scheduled to begin June 12. It will now probably begin on October 9, the fourth anniversary of the return of the federal indictment in the criminal case U.S. versus Cavazos et al.

That criminal indictment followed a three-year-long infiltration of the Mongols Motorcycle Club by at least 13 federal agents provocateur. The indictment was returned the day after the murder of a Mongol named Manuel Vincent “Hitman” Martin. Martin had attended a club party accompanied by three ATF undercover agents. The three agents spent the night picking fights and Martin may have become suspicious of the three men. The three federal agents left the party early and abandoned Martin to ride home alone. He was shot while he rode his motorcycle on the transition road between the Glendale and Foothill freeways in Los Angeles. Multiple sources in multiple motorcycle clubs and in law enforcement have characterized the behavior of those agents that night as suspicious.

A man named Richard Dean “Risky” Clayborn was charged with Martin’s murder in October 2009.

The Issue

This case earned its curious name because it is technically a civil suit against motorcycles, cash, and other personal property taken from members and associates of the motorcycle club. The government alleges that the motorcycles were integral to the criminal enterprise. The original plaintiffs include 48 men who were never indicted in the criminal case.

Civil forfeitures are a kind of extreme, extra-judicial punishment and in this case the forfeitures were intended to punish men for belonging to a motorcycle club. Broadly speaking, it is a way for an authoritarian justice apparatus to punish anti-authoritarians. In order to retrieve their personal property the plaintiffs in this case must prove that the Mongols was not a criminal enterprise while they belonged to the club.

This suit has been a sloppy, nasty and secret mess from its start. Nobody, including the judge who presides over this case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Welk, who filed the suit, knows who will contest the theft of their property when the trial starts. Welk estimated that “roughly 20” plaintiffs have not yet quit the lawsuit. Many of those who have quit have simply given up. Although an attorney must be provided to a criminal defendant the Mongols who were victimized by this “forfeiture” are on their own. Since the government has unlimited resources to pursue this suit, many indigent or near indigent plaintiffs, including men now in prison, are unable to seek justice.

Even Judge Carter is contemptuous of the case. “If I was the taxpayers I’d tear down the courthouse,” the judge conceded. “Thirty percent of these things have nothing to do with justice.”

Previewing The Trial

In open court today Welk told the judge, about a dozen lawyers and three Mongols that four Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents will testify for the prosecution. Those witnesses will be John Ciccone who was the case agent for Operation Black Rain and the three ATF agents who were with Hitman Martin the night he died. Those agents are Gregory Giaoni, Paul D’Angelo and Darrin Kozlowski. Although both Ciccone and Kozlowski have testified against the Mongols in the last four years, neither has ever been cross-examined about their actions on the night of Martin’s murder or about their behavior during Black Rain.

Welk said the four agents will provide a “general overview of the gang” as a criminal organization. Judge Carter said he expects the trial to last three weeks.

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24 Comments For This Post

  1. Junior Says:

    When the judge said he’d “tear down the courthouse if he were the taxpayer” and “30% of this has nothing to do with justice”, reminds me of a federal judge who once told me & other defendants,on the record and in front of the federal doj prosecutor about how much he detests wasteful govt employees and continued about how he couldnt believe the crap that comes across his “bench” from the feds. We left that day feeling like the judge was on our side. Then, once we relaxed, he fucked us real hard and ordered our house & land into govt custody. Tactics. Fuck em all with a red hot poker. Time for the “blood of patriots” to spill again. -Junior

  2. Rebel Says:

    Dear Junior,

    I would be more encouraged by the judge’s remarks except I think he wants the Mongols to just give up on this one and let the feds steal the bikes.

    Rebel

  3. jrnr Says:

    FTF! FTP! FTATF! and especially you ciccone and your little band of worthless pieces of lying shit. you’ve done more crime “legally” than any biker that you’ve arrested for your federally fabricated bullshit. i’m with junior, bring on the revolution. i’m in!

    jrnr

  4. JIM666 Says:

    it,s all bullshit
    Bring it on i`m in

  5. RVN69 Says:

    Shouldn’t this article be more accurately titled “Trial to legalize the Goverment theft of Mongols personal property continued.” And the four stooges of the ATF will be there to justify the theft.

    “I am not an angel, nor am I the devil, I am the bastard stepchild of both.”

  6. Caretaker Says:

    Gets my guns loaded… Bring it…

  7. Glenn S. Says:

    http://www.cracked.com/article_18620_6-completely-legal-ways-cops-can-screw-you.html

  8. IrishDragon Says:

    When and where? The gov is getting way out of control.

    IrishDragon

  9. IRISHPUNK Says:

    Rebels about ready to blow up here in So Cal boys, he’s getting quoted in the local papers. Good Job Rebel …

    http://www.sgvtribune.com/ci_20665499/mongols-hope-federal-trial-brings-their-motorcycles-back

  10. Glenn S. Says:

    Relatively speaking, a balanced story from a mainstream newspaper. But if Cavasos, et al, win this one, the government will appeal, and appeal again. And the bikes are probably stored where they are exposed to the elements.

  11. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Glenn S. wrote:

    “And the bikes are probably stored where they are exposed to the elements.”

    True, unless there happens to be a bike that one of the investigators wants to use as a ‘take-home’ vehicle. Then that one will be inside a garage, guaranteed.

  12. Phuquehed Says:

    That shitass judge is just like most people – talkin’ out his ass all tough and how he’s sooo disappointed in this or that and blah blah blah – yet doesn’t do a motherfucking thing about it! He has the power to tell the fucktard prosecutors to get off their useless asses, stop this wasteful trial and give citizens back the things that were taken.

    Fuck that judge, fuck the prosecutors, fuck the LEO asshats who wouldn’t know right from wrong if they found out they were born from their daddys’ assholes and not popped out like normal folk from momma’s snatch, and fuck especially the narcs who are still alive and wasting my good air. Fuck them all with razor wire.

  13. shovelNY Says:

    the cops pull this every day,close to 50% of police chiefs admit to including forfeiture income in their yearly operating budgets .

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/20/asset-forfeiture-wisconsin-bail-confiscated_n_1522328.html?ref=crime&ir=Crime

  14. shovelNY Says:

    another article on forfeitures:

    http://www.isil.org/resources/lit/looting-of-america.html

  15. Junior Says:

    Phuquehead:
    The Judges live in fear of the IRS, and feds (ATF, FBI etc) frequently have IRS investigations against judges that dont “play ball”.

    The founding fathers foresaw this happening and included a clause in the constitution that prohibits the “diminishing” of a judges salary, which means that judges were not supposed to be taxed and thereby free of influence from IRS/govt tax collectors. Well, fast-forward to today and the IRS diminishes judges salaries and IRS has the power to “audit” a judge, the judges know this and are influenced by the perceived threat of being audited and/or investigated by IRS. -Junior

  16. observer Says:

    Junior: just curious how you are so informed re: The Constitution. We all talk about it, but how many really know it? In the past we could maybe take it for granted, but nowadays, it’s obvious to anyone with eyes and ears, not to mention a nose, that stuff is changing fast, and not for the better. At least we still have that standard, however much it is distorted and ignored today. It’s important when folks like you do your bit to keep that flame alive. Thanks.

  17. Junior Says:

    Observer: Thanks for those words, my years of study and hard work often go “unnoticed” or at least unappreciated. I “woke up” & came out of the matrix in 1999 when a bonus from my employer got heavily taxed and i got real pissed and began studying tax law, which led me to the Constitution, which led me to understanding God given rights and govts role as the protector of those rights. I learned the difference between a right and a priviledge and so on and so on. I have four courtroom “victories” but have lost cases as well. Bottom line is I studied for about 3 years and now live & breath it daily. I’m knowledgable in the fundamentals of the Constitution, tax law, i understand how the federal govt has become sovereign over the several states despite the Constitutional provision that makes the several states sovereign over the fed gov (14th amend), im knowledgable in many oher areas but still struggle with standing the rule of law within the statutory confines of the administrative state(s). My quest for freedom from govt intrusion into my life led me to bikers. Bikers are some of he last defenders of freedom and since bikers live closer to “earth”, as opposed to living in the clouds, bikers and me made a pretty good fit; so i bought my first harley 3 years ago, and I’m here to stay-like it or lump it! – Junior

  18. Glenn S. Says:

    Junior has obviously done what so many people neglect to do, these days. He has made it his business to learn about the laws that they use to fuck us all on a daily basis, and learned about the Constitution that is supposed to define the government’s limitations and purpose.

    When I went to prison, I decided to make it my business to learn everything I could about the laws, and to read everything I could get my hands on. Like Albert Speer in Spandau Prison, I wanted to turn the prison cell into a scholor’s den.

    These days, I get a little disgusted when I talk to people that know everything about some celebrity or ball player, but nothing at all about the world.

    Junior, my quest for freedom led me to bikes and bikers, recently (in March, ’10), as well. I’ve never felt freer than when I’m riding wherever with no place else to be. I’m here to stay as well.

  19. Junior Says:

    Glenn:
    I’ve noticed that you are also from the first state to withdraw from the union (South Carolina), as am I. We have even attended some of the same parties around greenvile (i knew you were there, but dont think u were aware of me or who i was). I echo your sentiments about those knowledgable of ball player statistics & those that keep up with the latest celebrity bullshit but dont bother to know or study the law of the land in which they roam. We all need to become more proficient in standing the rule of Law within the statutory confines of the administrative state, we also need to push for things like having judges free from diminished salaries and the threat of govt audit. If everyone could pick a cause, just one cause, it wouldnt take long to turn this “bus” around; but first we gotta unplug our televisions and open some books, which will sadly never happen. The apathetic masses will forever haunt us. Education is the key to fixing this broken fucking country. – Junior

  20. Glenn S. Says:

    Junior,
    Yeah, I’m from Greenville. Lived here all my life, except for sabaticals on Gist St. in Columbia and similar venues. I can probably guess which parties you saw me at. Next time, say hello. Me and a couple of friends are probably gonna ride to that swap meet and whatever down below Anderson later today, if nothing else comes up.

    I agree that education, or making oneself knowlegable about the issues, is the key. But we also need a dog in the political fight and right now, we have none. Our governor is probably not as bad as most, but I’m still waiting for a politician to say: “What the fuck do we have all these laws for? We don’t need to lock so many people up and for so long. And if the government doesn’t want the people to steal, the government needs to stop stealing before it gets all moralistic. And if the country is to be free, the concept of freedom needs to go further than the free market. Let people choose how to live, and leave them alone to do it!”

    Sigh. I’ll probably still be waiting for that one in the next life.

  21. rollinnorth Says:

    We, as a nation, have known about the dangers of big government for a long, long time. This is from 1948:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz9fX_HfsXA

    It’s Memorial Day weekend. Thank you to all who we remember who paid for our freedom. And to all of you who served in ‘Nam, thank you and welcome home!

    Respect

  22. Rebel Says:

    Dear rollinnorth,

    Thank you very much. Enjoy your weekend. Condolences if you lost someone. Good weekend to remember that freedom is bought with blood.

    Rebel

  23. Caretaker Says:

    Rollinnorth and glenns-
    I agree with all yall said. We have become a nation of (mostly) passive morons who think everything on tv is real.
    To all here,and elswhere that served,or are serving,thank you.

    Respects,
    Caretaker

  24. lil me Says:

    i hope the mongols dont get nothing and as for anyone getting convicted your wrong. you see its all lies the mongols are a bunch of lying, cheating ,bastards i hope you dont get nothing. you no karma is gonna always bite you in the ass.

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