Late this winter, an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles named Elizabeth Yang convinced a grand jury to indict a turn of phrase. The phrase is “Mongol Nation, an unincorporated association.” Yang is the Chief of the Violent and Organized Crime Section of the Office of the United States Attorney for the Central District of California. The indictment is full of spurious and unproven allegations.
An excellent reporter named Mike Doyle, who covers the Department of Justice from Washington, D.C. for McClatchy Newspapers, ran a syndicated story about the indictment yesterday. Doyle reports the indictment was returned in February. The grand jury was convened in October 2012.
The indictment illustrates a quote usually attributed to Albert Einstein, but actually taken from a 1981 pamphlet published by Narcotics Anonymous, which defines insanity as “repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.” The Mongol Nation criminal indictment seeks, for the fourth or fifth time, to seize ownership of the insignia of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
The indictment traces “ownership” of the Mongols’ patch and name from a corporation owned by former Mongols President Ruben “Doc” Cavazos and named Shotgun Productions Limited Liability Corporation, through a short lived corporation named Mongol Nation Motorcycle Club Inc. (which was dissolved on September 19, 2011) to an entirely theoretical defendant named “Mongol Nation, an unincorporated association” which is then called the “Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang” and at other times in the indictment, “The Mongols Gang.” Since there is no legal entity named “Mongol Nation, an unincorporated association,” Yang might as well have indicted Harry Potter. The theoretical Mongol Nation includes every member of the club.
The spurious debate over who owns the Mongols name and patch is no longer even a valid legal issue. The Mongols insignia are not “trade marks” for use in commerce and trade like the name and insignia of the Sinister Mob Syndicate Motorcycle Club on reality television. The Mongols insignia are collective membership marks owned by the Mongols Motorcycle Club which is a legal, ongoing and evolving institution with an evolving membership like the Knights of Columbus, the Veterans or Foreign Wars or the Benevolent and Paternal Order of Elks. The insignia of the club are a form of constitutionally protected speech. The government has been trying to seize the Mongols marks since October 2008 and three federal district judges have already told them to stop.
The indictment is unusually half-assed; worm eaten with errors and larded with lurid details. For example, the indictment refers to the Mongols name and logogram as the “Word Image” and the “Rider Image.” And, the indictment describes “wing parties,” which are a kind of perfectly legal sex orgy.
Another passage in this amazing example of junior high rhetoric states as fact: “Many full patched members also displayed a patch with the designation “1%” to distinguish themselves from the “99%” of motorcycle club members who were legitimate and law-abiding and identify themselves as being within the “1%” who were not legitimate and did not adhere to the law or the rights of others.” Okay, Liz Yang, prove that.
And again: “The Mongols Gang also enforced its authority by directing attacks against members of the general public who defied or unwittingly came into contact with Mongols in a way that was deemed ‘disrespectful’ to the Mongols Gang. Persons in conflict with, or who might be perceived to have shown disrespect to, Mongols were often beaten severely or even killed by being kicked repeatedly with steel-toed boots, stabbed or shot.” So presumably, no Mongol victim was ever kicked by a Mongol wearing tennis shoes.
The actuality behind some of these accusations says far more about the accusers than it does about the accused. Like:
“The Mongols Gang did not allow African-Americans to be members. The Mongols Gang was also hostile to the presence of African-Americans in bars or clubs where Mongols were present or in proximity to female associates of the Mongols Gang.” In fact, the indictment alludes to a specific incident at a night club in Hollywood. What happened was that an African-American male, obviously full of himself, inappropriately fondled the sister of a Mongols patch holder and refused to apologize. A fight ensued during which three undercover ATF Agents, ever aware that they were being audio taped, screamed “nigger” over and over.
“Mongols Gang leaders, including Ruben Cavazos, Senior, Ruben Cavazos, Junior and Hector Gonzalez, and Mongols Gang full patched members also enforced the authority of the Mongols Gang by directing attacks against rival motorcycle gangs, such as the ‘Hells Angels’ and the ‘Sons of Silence.’” The Sons of Silence reference is particularly dissembling because in that case the beating was imagined, instigated and carried out by a paid ATF mercenary named Dan Horrigan.
There has not yet been any criminal action taken against the Mongols Motorcycle Club or any of its members as a result of this indictment. Two months after this 44 page artifact was voted out by the grand jury it remains a meaningless curiosity that simply reiterates the long running and still ongoing federal case titled United States of America versus Ruben ‘Doc’ Cavazos et al. The indictment does append three crimes committed by Mongols and not mention in the Cavazos indictment, including the murder of Hells Angel Mark Guardado by Mongol Christopher Ablett in September 2008.
The point of the indictment is obviously to rattle the Mongols and make the club pay to defend itself against whatever wacky thing the feds, with their unlimited budget, might try next. A member of the Mongols mother chapter, speaking anonymously, said:
“If you go to a grand jury they will indict based on the same dog and pony show they always put in front of them. We tried to keep it (the indictment) quiet because that’s what our attorney advised us to do while he researched the case and made a bullet proof motion to get this thrown out. They haven’t even served the indictment properly and cannot even call it to court. They embarrassed themselves on March 7. This is malicious prosecution! Its a waste of time and money. They are trying to bankrupt the club. We are fighting it all the way.”
Although, the Mongols Motorcycle Club might not have to bother to fight the indictment because the club itself hasn’t been indicted.
Thom Mrozek, the genial spokesman for the Central District of California, had “no comment” on either the indictment or Mike Doyle’s story. Mrozek did confirm that this latest attempt to “get the Mongols” and “rip the patches right off their backs” originated in Los Angeles and was not instigated by the Department of Justice in Washington.