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.

Tue
11
Dec
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Could a notorious biker club's survival hinge on a trademark? The feds are betting on it

When federal prosecutors finally managed to put mobster Al Capone behind bars, it wasn’t for murder or bootlegging, but tax evasion.

Fast forward several decades and government lawyers in Southern California say a similarly novel tactic could be the key to taking down the Mongols, a notorious motorcycle club that has long been targeted by authorities for killings and drug trafficking.

Instead of tax returns, the court battle this time will be won or lost in the decidedly unexciting trenches of trademark and forfeiture law.

Wed
05
Dec
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Mongols’ Defense: A Club Can’t Conspire With Itself

SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) — A defense attorney for the Mongol Nation motorcycle club told a California jury Tuesday that federal prosecutors had not presented any evidence that the club ever violated racketeering laws or engaged in a conspiracy — indeed, he said, it could not be convicted of conspiracy because an entity cannot conspire with itself.

“There’s no evidence that the Mongol Nation conspired to do anything,” Joseph A. Yanny told the Orange County jury in his closing arguments.

“There are individual members” who have committed crimes, he acknowledged, but “there’s no evidence at all that the club joined in those activities.”

He said the club itself cannot be held liable for “isolated incidents committed by boneheads.”

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.

Fri
02
Nov
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Former federal agent testifies about his years undercover with the Mongols Motorcycle Club

A veteran federal agent who spent years undercover after infiltrating the notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club offered his first-hand account Thursday of a secretive culture of violence and intimidation during testimony in an ongoing federal racketeering trial.

The three years that Darrin Kozlowski and three other U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Officers spent embedded in the outlaw motorcycle club already has led to guilty pleas from 77 members of the Mongols. Now, the since-retired special agents’ efforts are at the center of the government’s attempts to seize legal control over the Mongols’ trademark name, a move that would bar the bikers from wearing the patches that now 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.

Sun
14
Oct
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Mongols motorcycle club returns to Palm Springs for annual event

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The Mongols motorcycle club is back in Palm Springs for their annual event -- selling out all 255 rooms at the Hilton in downtown Palm Springs. The Palm Springs police department has implemented extra security measures in the surrounding area out of "an abundance of caution."

“You can’t escape the noise...there’s a couple hundred that come in at one time with all the bikes. So you got the vibrations of the bikes coming up and yeah...it’s a pretty large spectacle,” said Shannon Anderson, the General Manager of the Hilton Palm Springs.  

Some locals expressed concern with the return of the biker group. “If you even Wikipedia them...and it says rape, murder drugs...I think it makes people feel uncomfortable,” said Marsha Robinson, a local shop owner. One bar said they refuse to let anyone inside wearing a leather Mongol vest. 

Thu
11
Oct
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Hundreds of members of outlaw Mongols motorcycle club staying in Palm Springs this weekend

(video) --- If you see more police on the streets of Palm Springs this weekend, it's because the notorious Mongols Motorcycle Club is coming to town.

The group will be holding a membership meeting at the Hilton hotel in Downtown Palm Springs and Palm Springs police will increase its presence in what police Lt. Frank Browning called "an abundance of caution."

Police wouldn't comment on their plans, but Browning, in a post on the social media site Nextdoor, said the department was expecting several hundred members of the Mongols to hit the streets this weekend.

"We have sought out the assistance of numerous police agencies to ensure everyone’s safety, and security remains a priority," he wrote.

Sun
23
Sep
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Suspected Mongol member involved in fight at Fort Worth hotel bar, police say

FORT WORTH

A fight erupted early Sunday at a hotel bar involving a suspected Mongol biker member that drew the attention of 10 patrol cars, but no serious injuries were reported, police said.

In addition, police said Sunday no arrests were made.

Police have been on high alert this weekend after agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives alerted local authorities the motorcycle gang had a rally planned in the city.

The Mongols have been called the “most violent and dangerous” outlaw motorcycle gang in the nation, according to the Department of Justice website.
 

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