Mongols Motorcycle Club
|Founded at||Montebello, California|
|Type||Outlaw motorcycle club|
|United States, Canada|
|Scott "Junior" Ereckson, Roger Pinney|
The Mongols Motorcycle Club, sometimes called the Mongols Nation or Mongol Brotherhood, is a "one-percenter" outlaw motorcycle club. The club is headquartered in Southern California and was originally formed in Montebello, California, in 1969. Law enforcement officials estimate approximately 2,000 full-patched members are in the club. The Mongols' main presence lies in Southern California, but they also have chapters nationwide in 14 states and internationally in 11 countries.
Mongols members have a long history in the illegal drugs trade (especially methamphetamine), money laundering, robbery, extortion, firearms violations, murder, and assault, among other crimes. Current[when?] club president David Santillan denies that the club as a whole is a criminal enterprise, and attorneys for the club claim that it has changed its code of conduct to exclude drug abusers and criminals.
In 1998, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent William Queen infiltrated the club, eventually becoming a full-patch member and rising to the rank of chapter vice-president using the undercover alias of Billy St. John. In April 2000, based on evidence gathered during Queen's 28-month undercover time with the club, 54 Mongols were arrested. All but one of the accused were later convicted of crimes, including drug trafficking, motorcycle theft, and conspiracy to commit murder.
In 2002, members of the Mongols and the Hells Angels had a confrontation at the Harrah's Laughlin Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, that left three bikers dead. Mongol Anthony "Bronson" Barrera, 43, was stabbed to death and two Hells Angels – Jeramie Bell, 27, and Robert Tumelty, 50 – were shot to death. On February 23, 2007, Hells Angels members James Hannigan and Rodney Cox were sentenced to two years in prison for their respective roles in the incident. Cox and Hannigan were captured on videotape confronting Mongols inside the casino.
Mongols member Christopher Ablett turned himself in to authorities in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on October 4, 2008, after going on the run for the murder of Hells Angels President Mark "Papa" Guardado in San Francisco, California, earlier that year. His bond was set at $5 million. He was convicted of murder in aid of racketeering and three gun charges on February 23, 2012, in San Francisco.
On December 20, 2008, a group of Mongols arrived at a Las Vegas chapel for the wedding of a fellow member, only to find a local chapter of Hells Angels there finishing a ceremony of their own. According to local news outlet KTNV Channel 13, the Hells Angels attacked the Mongols members, sending three to the hospital, two of whom suffered from stab wounds. No arrests were made, and local authorities report that they are looking for suspects involved in the attack.
On October 28, 2014, in San Gabriel, California, Mongols member David Martinez allegedly shot and killed Pomona Police SWAT Team member Shaun Diamond. Diamond was shot in the back of the base of his neck with a shotgun during the service of a search warrant. Martinez shot Diamond after the officer turned away from the doorway following the breaching procedure. Officer Diamond died at dawn, October 29, 2014, at Huntington Memorial Hospital. Judge M. L. Villar, at the preliminary hearing, added a special gang allegation to the capital murder charges after the prosecution connected him to a Mongols chapter in Montebello, California. His initial trial, which started in 2019, was deemed a mistrial after he was found not guilty of first-degree murder; a hung jury occurred with all other charges. Martinez faces the death penalty if convicted.
Operation Black Rain
The Mongols established chapters in Oregon in 2007 and 2008, "astonishing" authorities, who described it as a breach of motorcycle club code of conduct, and who expected a turf war with rival motorcycle clubs to result.
Operation Black Rain was an operation by the ATF in 2008 to stop alleged criminal activity within the Mongols. On October 21, 2008, 38 members, including Ruben "Doc" Cavazos, were taken into Federal custody after four ATF agents infiltrated the group for a second time, becoming full patch members. 110 arrest warrants and 160 search warrants were issued in California, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. On October 23, 2008, US District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper granted an injunction that prohibits club members, their family members and associates from wearing, licensing, selling, or distributing the logo, which typically depicts the profile of a Mongolian warrior wearing sunglasses, because according to the police, they use the logo and names as an identity and as a form of intimidation to fulfill their goals. Prosecutors requested the injunction after authorities arrested dozens of Mongols under a racketeering indictment. The club president Ruben Cavazos and others pleaded guilty to the racketeering charge, and Cavazos was sentenced to serve 14 years in the penitentiary. Cavazos was voted out of the club by its members on August 30, 2008.
A planned weekend meeting in Lancaster, California, expected to draw 800 Mongols and their families, was blocked after city officials shut down and fenced off the hotel they had booked for the event, which coincided with the "Celebrate Downtown Lancaster" festival. The mayor had previously threatened to shut down the hotel over unpaid taxes if the agreement to host the Mongols was not canceled. An attorney for the Mongols said he planned to sue the city and the mayor, potentially for civil rights violations, after previously threatening to sue the hotel for breach of contract should they comply with the mayor's demands. Mayor R. Rex Parris said he wants to keep the Mongols out because they "are engaged in domestic terrorism...and they kill our children." The television show America's Most Wanted had exclusive access to the operation, and broadcast behind-the-scenes footage of the many arrests.
In a 2015 racketeering case in Los Angeles, the Federal government tried and failed to use civil forfeiture laws to seize all rights to the Mongols emblems and patches in order to forbid members from wearing them. On September 16, 2015, Federal District Judge David O. Carter dismissed the case.
Mongols MC Germany
A German chapter of Mongols MC was founded in Bremen by members of the local crime syndicate run by Lebanese immigrants in 2010. It was the first time that a Muslim clan-based crime syndicate in Germany became active in the field of outlaw motorcycle clubs.
Organized crime in Bremen is dominated by the Miri-Clan, a large family of Lebanese origin with more than 10,000 members, who first migrated to Germany beginning in the late 1970s, and rose to national notoriety with a number of large-scale criminal activities in 2010.
According to Andreas Weber, the state of Bremen's chief of criminal investigation, the new Mongols chapter is only nominally a motorcycle group. Clan members do not have motorcycle licences and drive around the city in cars. Presumably, they are interested in associating themselves with the US motorcycle club primarily to profit from their infrastructure and trading channels in drug trafficking. The president of Mongols Bremen, "Mustafa B." accidentally killed himself with his bike as a novice licence holder briefly after the chapter's foundation. He was presumably succeeded by "Ibrahim M.", who is on record with 147 felonies ranging from grievous bodily harm to illegal possession of a weapon.
In 2016 the last Mongols chapter in Bremen closed.
- List of outlaw motorcycle clubs
- Criminal Law (Criminal Organisations Disruption) Amendment Act 2013
- Under and Alone by William Queen
- Finks Motorcycle Club
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