Tue
26
Mar
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Leader of Tijuana MC Gang Admits to Leading Jeep Theft Ring in SD

After stealing more than 150 jeeps worth $4.5 million in San Diego County, the suspects would strip down the vehicles and sell the parts in Tijuana, according to the U.S. Attorney.

The leader of a Tijuana motorcycle gang pleaded guilty Tuesday to leading a sophisticated vehicle theft scheme that targeted Jeep Wranglers north of the border.

According to court documents, Jimmy “Motas” Josue Martinez and his gang, the Hooligans, are responsible for stealing more than 150 Jeep Wranglers within this county alone since 2014.

Martinez, 33, admitted that he and other gang members hacked security systems in the trucks and used secret codes and duplicate keys to take $4.5 million worth of Wranglers, some right out of the driveways of unsuspecting owners.

The jeeps were taken and transported south of the border to Tijuana where they were sold or stripped for valuables, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sat
16
Mar
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Recent high-profile incidents shine a light on local outlaw motorcycle gangs

They cut an imposing figure. 

Heads turn and people tend to keep their distance when members of Bakersfield's local outlaw motorcycle gangs enter an establishment. Instantly recognizable due to their leather vests with patches proclaiming their affiliation, these groups historically have a reputation for violence. 

Some recent incidents involving the groups have only furthered that reputation. One was a deadly stabbing at a popular dive bar involving two motorcycle gang members, the other an exchange of gunshots in broad daylight during a fundraiser on Buck Owens Boulevard. 

Those who spot members of a biker gang are best advised to leave them alone. Anyone who starts trouble could quickly find himself surrounded and in extreme physical danger.

"They engage in acts of violence or drug sales as needed," said Senior Police Officer Louis James, of the Bakersfield Police Department's gang unit.

Sat
09
Mar
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Arrest made in stabbing death of 'Mikey Smash'

A 60-year-old member of an outlaw motorcycle club was arrested Friday on murder and gang charges in the stabbing death last month of an apparent Hells Angels affiliate in downtown Bakersfield.

Russell Vannoy was taken into custody around 4 a.m. in Bellflower in the killing of Michael Adam Morales, police said. He's currently the only suspect in the death of Morales, known as Mikey Smash. 

Police said Vannoy is a member of the Devils Diciples Motorcycle Club, a biker gang that, like the Hells Angels, was founded decades ago in California. 

Morales was stabbed the evening of Feb. 16 at Guthrie's Alley Cat, a popular dive bar located in the 1800 block of Eye Street. 

On his Facebook page, Morales' posts include a "Support 81 Bakersfield" emblem as his cover photo. That's supposedly symbolic of the eighth letter and first letter of the alphabet, signifying HA, or Hells Angels.

Mon
25
Feb
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In 1967, Alta Loma landlord finds the Hell’s Angels tough to evict

How would you like to be in the shoes of landlord W.H. LaBand of West Covina when he decided to evict residents of his Alta Loma ranch in 1967?

The tenants’ lease was up on April 1, 1967, but even before that LaBand wanted them out. The touchy part was getting them to leave — no easy task because the place was the headquarters for the “Berdoo” chapter of the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang.

The property, the Gray Ranch, was an 80-acre former citrus orchard with an old two-story house at the base of the mountains, west of Haven Avenue and not far from the new campus of Chaffey College. At this time, the spread of tract homes had not yet reached that undeveloped area of today’s Rancho Cucamonga.

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
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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