Mongols Motorcycle Club

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Mongols MC
AbbreviationMMC, Mongol Nation, Mongol Brotherhood[1]
FoundedDecember 5, 1969; 53 years ago (1969-12-05)[2]
Founded atMontebello, California, United States[2]
TypeOutlaw motorcycle club
HeadquartersWest Covina, California, United States[3]
Worldwide (chapters in 17 countries)[4]

The Mongols Motorcycle Club, also known as the Mongol Brotherhood or Mongol Nation, is an international outlaw motorcycle club. Originally formed in Montebello, California, in 1969, the club is headquartered in Southern California.[5] Although the Mongols' main presence lies in California, they also have chapters nationwide in 14 states and internationally in 11 countries.[6][7][8][9] Law enforcement officials estimate approximately 2,000 "full-patched" members are in the club.[10] The Mongols are the fifth-largest outlaw biker club in the world, after the Hells Angels, the Bandidos, the Outlaws and the Pagans.[11]

The Mongols are designated an organized crime group by the United States Department of Justice, the Australian Federal Police, and Europol.[12][13][14]


The Mongols Motorcycle Club was formed in Montebello, California on December 5, 1969.[2] The club had ten founding members, the majority of whom were Vietnam veterans.[15][16] The first national president of the Mongols, Louis Costello, named the club in honor of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire.[4][17] The Mongols' original sergeant-at-arms, Alfonso "Big Al" Aceves, served three tours of duty in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division.[15][16] The club's founders were reportedly a group of Hispanic bikers from East Los Angeles who formed the Mongols as an alternative to the Hells Angels, which did not allow non-White members at the time.[18][19] The Mongols voted to become an "outlaw" club in 1974.[20] The Mongols' membership increased as the club began recruiting inmates, particularly from the California Men's Colony in San Luis Obispo.[5] Within ten years of its foundation, the club had established chapters in Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, San Diego and Bakersfield.[19][21]

The Mongols became involved in a longrunning feud with the Hells Angels beginning in 1977.[22][23] The Hells Angels ceded control of much of Southern California to the Mongols during the 1980s on the condition that the Angels would in turn hold rights over Northern California.[12][24]

In 2000, the Mongols had a membership of around 200, with 21 chapters across the United States.[25] By 2019, the club had expanded across the U.S. and into a dozen countries internationally.[26]


A Mongols member sporting club "colors" and tattoos.

The Mongols' insignia depicts a caricature of a Mongol warrior – reported to be Genghis Khan[27] – sporting a topknot,[disambiguation needed] bell-bottoms and sunglasses, and riding a motorcycle.[21][28] This image is trademarked and registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.[29] The Mongols' logo, along with additional patches, is worn on members' "colors".[4] Other patches worn include those which indicate a member's rank within the club, the location of the chapter to which he belongs, club slogans, and "1%" emblems.[19] Mongols patches utilize a black-and-white color scheme.[30] The Mongols' back patches, or "rockers", are awarded to the club's members in three steps; firstly the bottom "rocker" which indicates the location of the chapter, followed by the club logo, and finally the top "rocker", reading the name of the club and indicating full membership.[19] According to law enforcement, a skull and crossbones patch worn by a Mongol indicates that the member has killed on behalf of the club.[4] Additionally, a tattoo reading "RFFN" (an acronym of "respect few, fear none") is allegedly only permitted to be worn by a Mongol who has committed an act of violence against a member of the Hells Angels.[31] Mongols members are also known to wear Las Vegas Raiders-branded clothing in order to circumvent bans on gang colors.[32]

The club's mottos include: "Live Mongol, die Mongol" ("LMDM");[4] "Mongols forever, forever Mongols ("MFFM");[19] and "Respect few, fear none" ("RFFN").[27] Other names for the club include the Mongol Nation and Mongol Brotherhood.[1] The Mongols' fight song goes as follows:

We are Mongol raiders, we're raiders of the night
We're dirty sons of bitches, we'd rather fuck and fight
Hidy, hidy, Christ Almighty, who the fuck are we?
Shit, fuck, cunt, suck, Mongols MC![33]

Bans on club logos[edit]

After a long legal battle with the Department of Justice and ATF over the Mongols' MC patch, the Mongols won the rights to continued use and ownership of their patch.[34][35]

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.[36]

In January 2019, a California jury had ruled that federal prosecutors could strip the motorcycle club of its brand. An attempt to do so was rebuffed by the Central District of California Court, concluding that the seizure of the trademark violated the First Amendment right to free expression and the Eighth Amendment protection from excessive punishment.[37]

On 24 April 2020, a law came into effect in New Zealand banning Mongols members from wearing club insignia inside government buildings, including courts, Work and Income offices, libraries, schools, public hospitals, some sports grounds and public swimming pools.[38] Minister of Police Stuart Nash stated: "Gang insignia is intended to intimidate the public and other gangs. It is designed to claim ownership of a physical space and to encourage the recruitment of gang prospects. We will not allow the Mongols MC to advertise its presence in this way".[39]

Membership and organization[edit]

A Mongol with an Outlaws member.

Only men are permitted to join the Mongols.[1] In the United States, the club permits Hispanic and White males as members.[4] In Australia, members are predominantly of Anglo-Celtic and Middle Eastern descent.[1][40][41] The Mongols in Germany recruit primarily from the Arab and Kurdish communities in the country.[42] Prospective members are required to own a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and must serve a probationary period as a "prospect" before being initiated into the club.[30] Mongols members are required to pay a monthly fee and attend chapter meetings. The club's bylaws are contained in a 70-page constitution, which also features a list of ten commandments.[27] The Mongols' constitution forbids drug use and dictates that any member convicted of a serious crime face immediate expulsion from the club.[43]

The Mongols organization is headed by a "mother chapter", which is composed of national officers and led by a national president.[44] The "mother chapter" exercises authority over all Mongols chapters and members, and is responsible for collecting and reviewing applications, collecting fees and resolving disputes within the club.[20] The Mongols' international headquarters is located in Southern California,[45] formerly based in Montebello[11] and Commerce,[27] and currently in West Covina.[3] Each club chapter pays financial tribute to the "mother chapter" and is governed by an officer corps, consisting of a president, vice president, sergeant-at-arms and a secretary/treasurer.[27] According to prosecutors, the dues collected by the "mother chapter" are used to fund and promote the club and to pay for the legal expenses of members.[44] The club denies, however, that it covers any members' legal fees.[43] The Mongols have an estimated membership of between 1,000 and 2,000 internationally, with chapters in 17 countries; Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and the United States.[4]

The Mongols oversee the Raiders MC, an affiliated official support club.[46][47][48]

Criminal allegations and incidents[edit]

The Mongols are considered by law enforcement agencies in the United States to be among the "big five" motorcycle gangs, along with the Bandidos, the Hells Angels, the Outlaws and the Pagans.[49] The Mongols are the smallest of the five in terms of membership size.[11] In Australia, the Mongols are included among the "big six", with the Bandidos, the Hells Angels, the Comanchero, the Finks and the Rebels.[50][51]

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.[52][53][54][55][56] 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.[36]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Mongol invasion: Inside the most powerful bikie gang in Australia Candace Sutton, (27 October 2013) Archived April 19, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c A Timeline of the Hells Angels The New York Times Archived October 17, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Could a notorious biker club’s survival hinge on a trademark? The feds are betting on it Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times (Decem,ber 11, 2018) Archived December 11, 2018, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h George W. Knox, Gregg Etter and Carter F. Smith (2018). Gangs and Organized Crime. Routledge. ISBN 9781138614772.
  5. ^ a b Organized Crime in California – 2004 Annual Report to the Legislature Archived 12 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine- California Department of Justice
  6. ^ "The Official Site of the Mongols Motorcycle Club". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  7. ^ "Chapter list". Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  8. ^ "Mongols Scandinavia". Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "Chapter Europe". Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  10. ^ Blankstein, Andrew (October 29, 2014). "Cop Slain in SoCal Was Investigating Deadly Feud Between Biker Gangs". NBC News. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Deputy John Williams, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (2008) Archived November 28, 2021, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b U.S. Dept. of Justice, Motorcycle Gangs, archived from the original on 10 February 2010, retrieved 27 October 2009
  13. ^ Mongols OMCG targeted as part of National Day of Action Australian Federal Police (4 December 2020) Archived 4 December 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Fear of turf war between Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs in Europe Europol (21 December 2012) Archived 10 January 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b Al Aceves: Hard Core No More Rod Thomas, Christian Broadcasting Network Archived December 22, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ a b Former gang members speak in Oroville about changing their lives Marin Independent Journal (August 16, 2010) Archived March 20, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Marks of Mayhem & Murder: When a Few Bad "Mongols" Spoil the Bunch, Should the Go Bunch, Should the Government Seize a Motorcycle Association Association's Registered Trademark? (January 1, 2009) Archived October 27, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Judge refuses to strip Mongols biker club of trademarked logo Joel Ribin, Los Angeles Times (February 28, 2019) Archived October 5, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ a b c d e Rules that members of the Mongols bike gang have to follow Karen Corday, (May 19, 2022) Archived October 7, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ a b Once-goodtime club turned to violence Daily Breeze (October 21, 2008) Archived May 1, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ a b Lift the curtain of secrecy surrounding Mongols motorcycle club and you discover the outlaw way, and much more David Whiting, The Mercury News (June 20, 2019) Archived December 22, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Tension between rival Hells Angels, Mongols biker gangs on the rise Denis C. Thereault, The Mercury News (September 19, 2008) Archived April 29, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Mongols vs. Hells Angels LA Weekly (January 13, 2011) Archived October 24, 2020, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ Thomas Barker (2014). Biker Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime. Routledge. ISBN 9780323298704.
  25. ^ National gang sweep includes Oklahoma The Oklahoman (May 21, 2000) Archived June 17, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Mongols MC El Paso chapter president accused in biker assault arrested in raid Daniel Borunda, El Paso Times (April 29, 2019) Archived May 7, 2023, at
  27. ^ a b c d e The Infamous ‘One Percenters’: A Review of the Criminality, Subculture, and Structure of Modern Biker Gangs Danielle Shields (2012) Archived November 29, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ 42 Arrested in Motorcycle Gang Raids Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times (May 20, 2000) Archived May 1, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ United States of America v. Mongol Nation (September 16, 2015) Archived May 1, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ a b The Mongol Motorcycle Gang and the Mexican Mafia Richard Valdemar, (January 21, 2008) Archived March 19, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  31. ^ Mongols OMCG members have started wearing NFL colours to get around tough bikie laws Alexandria Utting and Jacob Miley, Gold Coast Bulletin (27 November 2020) Archived 23 April 2023 at
  32. ^ Thompson, Tony (4 August 2011). Outlaws: Inside the Hell's Angel Biker Wars. ISBN 9781444716610. As their fight song attests, the Mongols have never shied away from a good scrap; We are Mongol raiders, we're raiders of the night
    We're dirty sons of bitches, we'd rather fuck and fight
    Hidy, hidy, Christ Almighty, who the fuck are we?
    Shit, fuck, cunt, suck, Mongols MC!
  33. ^ "'Rivera vs. Carter, et al.', Case No.2:09-cv-2435-FMC-VBKx". United States District Court, Central District of California. July 31, 2009. Archived from the original on March 7, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2018 – via
  34. ^ "Mongols Win Case Again". The Aging Rebel. January 10, 2010. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  35. ^ a b Frosch, Dan; Koppel, Nathan (May 31, 2015). "Feds Take Aim at Biker Gang's 'Colors': Government will try to seize group's logo, saying it serves as a license to commit crime". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved May 31, 2015.
  36. ^ "Once Again, the Mongols Motorcycle Club Can Legally Keep Its Patch". 2019-05-20. Retrieved 2020-04-26.
  37. ^ Mongols gang patch banned from being worn at government buildings Melanie Earley, Stuff (24 April 2020) Archived 28 April 2020 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ Mongols bikies gang banned from wearing patches in Government buildings Ben Leahy, The New Zealand Herald (24 April 2020) Archived 27 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Wie zijn de Mongols? de Volkskrant (8 April 2016) Archived 16 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  40. ^ Bikie gangs involve crime and fierce brotherhood for inductees. But what happens if you want to get out? Mahmood Fazal, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (18 December 2020) Archived 27 December 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ Bremen verbietet Mongols Der Spiegel (21 May 2011) Archived 29 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ a b Inside the bikie clubhouse that's a smoke-free zone with exercise and anti-ageing machines Yoni Bashan, The Daily Telegraph (19 October 2013) Archived 30 April 2023 at
  43. ^ a b United States District Court for the Central District of California (November 7, 2008). USA v The Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. ISBN 9781440462566.
  44. ^ Mongols motorcycle club can keep logo, appeals court rules Pasadena Star-News (January 6, 2023) Archived January 12, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Mongols starting to flex their muscles in Victoria Nino Bucci and Rania Spooner, The Age (4 August 2014) Archived 23 April 2023 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ How an outlaw motorcycle gang took root in Clarksville Stephanie Ingersoll, The Leaf-Chronicle (January 30, 2018) Archived April 23, 2023, at
  47. ^ Mongols biker gang member killed Pinellas associate believed to be informant, sheriff says Natalie Weber, Tampa Bay Times (August 29, 2022) Archived August 29, 2022, at the Wayback Machine
  48. ^ Outlaw Bikers Surge Again ABC News (January 7, 2006) Archived March 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  49. ^ By their colours: Outlaw motorcycle gang identification guide Australian Broadcasting Corporation (October 4, 2013) Archived October 9, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Victoria bikies: all you need to know about Big Six outlaw gangs Anthony Dowsley, Herald Sun (July 7, 2022) Archived June 12, 2023, at the Wayback Machine
  51. ^ Glover, Scott (October 22, 2008). "U.S. targets bikers' identity; Prosecutor vows to strip Mongols of their name after 61 members are arrested as a result of a 3-year probe". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. p. A1. Archived from the original on July 25, 2009.
  52. ^ "Mongols motorcycle gang members arrested". USA Today. October 21, 2008. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  53. ^ Watkins, Thomas (October 21, 2008). "Mongols Motorcycle Gang Arrested In Federal Sweep". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  54. ^ "Dozens of Mongol motorcycle gang members arrested". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  55. ^ Orlowski, Andrew (October 22, 2008). "Feds seize biker gangs trademark". The Register. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2008.


  • Barker, Thomas (2014). Biker Gangs and Transnational Organized Crime. Oxford: Routledge. ISBN 9780323298704.
  • Christie, George (2016). Exile on Front Street: My Life as a Hells Angel. New York City: Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 9780283072666.

External links[edit]