Thu
13
Dec
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U.S. government wins first round in trial to take ownership of Mongols Motorcycle Club’s prized patches

Since the case is focused on the Mongols organization, no specific individuals are facing jail or prison time

A federal jury on Thursday found that the notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club is guilty of racketeering, setting up a second phase of the trial at a Santa Ana courthouse where the government will try to seize control of the organization’s trademark.

Federal prosecutors want to take possession of the trademark so they can keep members from wearing the prized patches worn on the bikers’ vests, an attempt to break the back of the Mongols.

In finding the Mongols guilty of racketeering, jurors decided that the outlaw motorcycle club itself is a criminal organization that has supported drug trafficking and encouraged vicious assaults and even murder.

Wed
12
Dec
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‘I like to make things.’ Meet the expert gun builder at the center of the R.I. biker gangs case

In March, two months before explosives experts blew open two Woonsocket motorcycle clubs, state police detectives say they listened in on a phone call between the clubs’ leaders. One talked of killing Christine DeSpain — the woman who made guns in her basement.

“I expected her to show up today,” an angry Rodney P. Lambert, head of the Kryptmen club, is quoted in an affidavit as saying, ”...and I would shoot her in the head.”

Obviously, relations between Lambert and a once ally who investigators say played an important role in the clubs’ illicit activities had dangerously soured.

DeSpain, 47, was a regular at the Kryptmen’s clubhouse, an old, fenced-in industrial building on Second Avenue that backed up to a wooded lot. There she rubbed elbows with who she calls “some of the last real men” and discussed shared hobbies: cars, motorcycles — and guns.

DeSpain knew more about manufacturing firearms and how to use them, investigators say, than any biker.

Wed
12
Dec
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Members of New York motorcycle club with Tennessee ties sentenced on RICO charges

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Members of a New York motorcycle club which also operated in Tennessee were sentenced to prison on Wednesday stemming from RICO conspiracy and firearm charges.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports Gregory "Flip" Wilson and Glen "Turbo" Stacharczyck were sentenced to 180 months and 57 months in prison, respectively.

The men were members of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club, a gang which the DOJ says operated in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

According to plea agreements of the two men, Wilson admitted to punching a woman repeatedly in 2009, causing her eyes to swell shut following a verbal altercation. The assault took place at a Pennsylvania clubhouse and the DOJ says Wilson nor any other members called for medical help.

The woman was then taken back to New York where Wilson and his mother kept her secluded against her will to hide her injuries.

Sat
08
Dec
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Laws banning drivers' use of cell phones are saving motorcyclists' lives

Researchers suggest that states with stricter laws have lower fatality rates

Though cell phones have come to permeate essentially every area of our lives, the use of these devices while driving has become particularly problematic. Amidst several campaigns urging consumers not to text or call while driving, the issue continues to lead to fatal car accidents.

However, a new study conducted by researchers from Florida Atlantic University found that motorcyclist fatalities have been on the decline in states that have instituted strict bans on using cell phones while driving.

Thu
06
Dec
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Bikie killer sentenced to death in Thailand to be released after just three years

An Australian kickboxer convicted of the murder of a Hells Angels drug trafficker is expected to be released from jail today, despite an ongoing appeal.
 

Antonio Bagnato was convicted of the 2015 murder of Hells Angels boss Wayne Schneider and sentenced in February last year to the death penalty.

The former kickboxer was the bodyguard of Mr Schneider, who was kidnapped and bludgeoned to death near the resort town of Pattaya.

Wed
05
Dec
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Kingsmen trial witness sentenced to probation

COURT: Witness in case receives three years of probation for misdemeanor drug charge.

A witness in the 2014 Kingsmen Motorcycle Club double-murder was spared prison-time Wednesday for a drug arrest in 2016.

Leslie Maziarz, of North Tonawanda, was sentenced by Niagara County Court Judge Matthew Murphy III to three years of probation for a misdemeanor criminal possession of a controlled substance charge. 

Maziarz was arrested July 8, 2016 on a felony drug charge after police executed a search warrant on a North Tonwanda residence and found her and Steven Papoi with cocaine. She pleaded guilty in November 2016 and entered a two-year drug diversion program. 

Upon completing the program, Maziarz was allowed to plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor drug charge. 

Tue
04
Dec
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Trial Wraps Up in U.S. Attempt to Yank Motorcycle Club Trademark

A federal prosecutor Monday told jurors who were “witnesses to a lengthy parade of cruelty” for the past five weeks in a trial against a Los Angeles-based motorcycle club that they should vote to yank Mongol Nation’s trademark while the organization’s attorney argued it has been targeted because its membership is primarily Mexican-American.

“Over the past five weeks you’ve been witness to a lengthy parade of cruelty,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Welk said of the evidence presented of the club’s criminal history since its founding in 1969.

For the first time, federal prosecutors are trying to get a motorcycle club found guilty of racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering in order to have its trademark taken away. It would mean the club’s motorcyclists could no longer wear the patches they wear on their “cuts,” slang for leather jackets.

Wed
28
Nov
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Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura defends Mongols Motorcycle Club in federal court in Orange County

His testimony was part of an ongoing federal racketeering trial

Former Minnesota governor and retired pro wrestler Jesse Ventura testified in a Santa Ana courtroom Wednesday about his longstanding membership in the Mongols Motorcycle Club, defending the organization against government allegations that it has operated as a criminal enterprise.

Ventura, the highest profile member of the Mongols, took the stand as an expert witness in the midst of an ongoing federal racketeering trial in which prosecutors are attempting to gain control over the motorcycle club’s trademark name, a move that would allow law enforcement to bar the bikers from wearing the patches that adorn their vests.

Wed
31
Oct
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Notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club fighting U.S. government to keep its vest patch

A federal racketeering trial against the notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club began Wednesday in a Santa Ana courthouse, with prosecutors accusing the Southern California-based organization of supporting drug trafficking and encouraging vicious assaults and even murder.

Unlike past racketeering trials that targeted named members of the outlaw motorcycle gang, the current trial specifically targets the Mongol Nation, as prosecutors seek to gain legal control over the organization’s trademark name, which adorns some of the patches members wear on their vests.

If successful, federal prosecutors have previously indicated, the move would allow law enforcement to stop Mongol members and literally take the jacket off of their backs anywhere in the United States.

It’s an apparent attempt to destroy the Mongols club, or at least greatly weaken it.

Tue
30
Oct
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Harley-Davidson to recall nearly 178K bikes to fix clutches

DETROIT -- Harley-Davidson is recalling nearly 178,000 motorcycles in the U.S. because they can get stuck in gear due to a clutch problem.

Documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say clutches can leak fluid internally, making it so the clutch doesn't have enough lift to disengage the bikes from gears. The safety agency says that can cause riders to lose control and increase the risk of a crash.

The Milwaukee-based company says in documents that it has reports of five crashes with no injuries.

Affected models include the 2017 and 2018 Police Road King, Road King, Road King Special, Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Ultra Limited Low, Ultra Limited Shrine, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, Road Glide Ultra, Road Glide, Road Glide Special, Freewheeler, Tri Glide Ultra, CVO Limited, and the CVO Street Glide.

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