Thu
28
Feb
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Mongols motorcycle club gets to keep prized patches, as federal judge rules against U.S. government’s first-of-its-kind effort

Members say loss of their patch would have been a death sentence for the outlaw motorcycle club.

SANTA ANA – A federal judge has rejected the U.S. government’s unprecedented efforts to gain control of the prized patches that adorn the vests worn by the notorious Mongols motorcycle club, ruling that prosecutors attempts to seize control of the outlaw organization’s trademarks are unconstitutional.

Motorcycle club members rally Saturday, March 29, 2014 at The House Lounge in Maywood.(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

The written ruling, released Thursday morning by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, marks a setback for federal prosecutors who two months ago persuaded a Santa Ana jury to find the Southern California-based club guilty of racketeering.

Sun
24
Feb
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Motorcyclist shot, wounded by possible Mongols Motorcycle Club member on WB 10 Fwy in El Monte

(video) --- EL MONTE, Calif. (KABC) --

Authorities investigated a shooting that left a person wounded on the westbound 10 Freeway in El Monte Saturday, and the suspect may be a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

Just after 1 p.m., California Highway Patrol said a person was shot on the freeway. Authorities said two motorcyclists riding a red Honda CBR 1000 and Triumph Daytona 675 were traveling on the 10 Freeway, east of Interstate 605 in the No. 2 lane.

The two riders then found themselves surrounded by a group of outlaw motorcycle gang members, allegedly they were part of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

Fri
01
Feb
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Mongols Motorcycle Club vows to fight trademark loss

(video) --- EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) --

The federal government said they're a convicted criminal gang, and Hell's Angels consider them enemies. They call themselves the Mongols Motorcycle Club - and they're one of the most notorious MC groups in the world.

"It's about honor, respect and pride," David Santillan said.

But for this East L.A.-born brotherhood, the last few years have been a fight for survival. They've been under federal indictment for the last decade. And recently, a federal jury in Santa Ana convicted the national club of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy for murder, attempted murder and drug dealing.

More than 75 of their members were convicted - including their former president Ruben "Doc" Cavazos. But the biggest blow of all - hit them where it hurts the most, they lost the rights to their trademarked emblem.

Wed
16
Jan
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Federal judge to allow experts to weigh in on whether the government can seize Mongols motorcycle club’s trademark

The first-of-its-kind effort to take control of the outlaw motorcycle club's prized patches would break new legal ground

A federal judge presiding over the high-profile Mongols motorcycle club trial has agreed to put out a wide-ranging call for expert legal input on the implications of the government’s unprecedented efforts to gain control of the well-known insignia worn by club members.

Less than a week after a Santa Ana jury decided the notorious outlaw club must forfeit the trademark to its logo, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter on Wednesday agreed to solicit briefs from a variety of experts, including trademark attorneys, law school professors, civil rights organizations and think tanks.

Fri
11
Jan
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Jury Decides to Strip Mongols Biker Gang of Trademark Logo

Federal prosecutors say a California jury has decided the Mongols motorcycle gang should be stripped of its trademarked logo.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California jury decided Friday that the Mongols motorcycle gang should be stripped of its trademarked logo in a first-of-its-kind verdict, federal prosecutors said.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana jury previously found Mongol Nation, the entity that owns the image of a Mongol warrior on a chopper, guilty of racketeering and conspiracy.

The verdict caps an unusual decade-long quest by prosecutors to dismantle the gang responsible for drug dealing and murder by seizing control of the trademark they said was core to the gang's identity.

Gang members were "empowered by these symbols that they wear like armor," Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Welk argued.

Tue
08
Jan
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Attorney: Government taking control of Mongols motorcycle club patches would be ‘death penalty’ for the group

Jurors, who have already determined the outlaw motorcycle club engaged in illegal activity, now tasked with deciding fate of the organizations trademark

Allowing the government to take control of the notorious Mongols motorcycle club’s prized patches would be a “death sentence” for the organization, an attorney for the outlaw club argued on Tuesday.

Fri
21
Dec
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Member of motorcycle gang sentenced to 30 months in prison for illegally possessing gun

A Spokane man and member of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Thursday by a federal judge.

Gabriel Trinidad Lopez, 38, pleaded guilty on July 12 to a charge of illegally possessing a firearm, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Law enforcement officers pulled over Lopez in Spokane on Nov. 4, 2017, because of numerous traffic violations, according to the news release. Lopez told officers he had a firearm, which was illegal because he is a convicted felon.

He also faces three years of probation after his sentence.

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.”

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