Mongols Motorcycle Club

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Mongols Motorcycle Club
Mongols (motorcycle club) logo.jpg
Founded atMontebello, California
TypeOutlaw motorcycle club
United States, Canada
Key people
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.[1] Law enforcement officials estimate approximately 2,000 full-patched members are in the club.[2] The Mongols' main presence lies in Southern California, but they also have chapters nationwide in 14 states and internationally in 11 countries.[3][4][5][6]

Criminal activities[edit]

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.[7][8][9][10][11] 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.[12]


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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15] He was convicted of murder in aid of racketeering and three gun charges on February 23, 2012, in San Francisco.[16]

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.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] Martinez faces the death penalty if convicted.[20]

Operation Black Rain[edit]

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.[21]

Operation Black Rain was an operation by the ATF in 2008 to stop alleged criminal activity within the Mongols.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24][25] 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.[26]

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."[27] The television show America's Most Wanted had exclusive access to the operation, and broadcast behind-the-scenes footage of the many arrests.[28]

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.[29][30]

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.[12]

Mongols MC Germany[edit]

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.[31][32]

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.[33]

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.[31]

Local daily newspaper Kölnische Rundschau reports that a further German Mongols chapter has become active in Cologne, which is a traditional Hells Angels area.[34]

In 2016 the last Mongols chapter in Bremen closed.[35]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Organized Crime in California, Annual Report to the California Legislature" (PDF). Attorney General of California. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 12, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  2. ^ Blankstein, Andrew (October 29, 2014). "Cop Slain in SoCal Was Investigating Deadly Feud Between Biker Gangs". NBC News. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "The Official Site of the Mongols Motorcycle Club". Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  4. ^ "Chapter list". Archived from the original on December 28, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Mongols Scandinavia". Archived from the original on May 18, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  6. ^ "Chapter Europe". Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ "Mongols motorcycle gang members arrested". USA Today. October 21, 2008. Archived from the original on June 27, 2009. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "Dozens of Mongol motorcycle gang members arrested". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on September 1, 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  11. ^ Orlowski, Andrew (October 22, 2008). "Feds seize biker gangs trademark". The Register. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved October 25, 2008.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ Queen, William (2005). Under and Alone : The True Story of the Undercover Agent Who Infiltrated America's Most Violent Outlaw Motorcycle Gang. Random House. ISBN 1400060842.
  14. ^ Puit, Glenn; Berns, Dave (April 30, 2002). "Laughlin Shootout: Signs told of melee in making". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Archived from the original on September 20, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  15. ^ Stannard, Matthew B. (October 8, 2008). "'Polite' Surrender in Hells Angels Killing". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  16. ^ Lee, Henry K. (February 24, 2012). "Guilty verdict in murder of Hells Angels leader". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on February 23, 2012.
  17. ^ "Mongol gang member says he was attacked at his own wedding". KTNV-TV. December 22, 2008. Archived from the original on December 27, 2008. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  18. ^ Henry, Jason (December 3, 2014). "Man accused of killing Pomona police officer Shaun Diamond pleads not guilty". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  19. ^ Miller, Molly (March 5, 2021). "Mongol: The Trial of David Martinez — The Complete Ten-Part Series". Crime Story. Archived from the original on April 20, 2021. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  20. ^ Henry, Jason (July 29, 2015). "Mongols biker member to stand trial in killing of Pomona police officer Shaun Diamond". Pasadena Star News. Archived from the original on October 27, 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  21. ^ Denson, Bryan (April 20, 2008). "Police fear violence as outlaw bikers move to Oregon: The Mongols motorcycle club risks retaliation as it pushes into rival turf". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on February 6, 2014.
  22. ^ "ATF Seattle Executes Numerous Search and Arrest Warrants in Operation Black Rain". Reuters. October 21, 2008. Archived from the original on November 13, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  23. ^ Watkins, Thomas (October 21, 2008). "Mongols motorcycle gang arrested in federal sweep". Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on October 26, 2008. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  24. ^ "Judge bans Mongols from wearing trademark logo". The Oregonian. Associated Press. October 23, 2008. Archived from the original on June 8, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  25. ^ Glover, Scott (October 22, 2008). "Raid targets Mongols motorcycle gang". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 8, 2009. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  26. ^ Williams, Carol J. (July 7, 2009). "Mongols ex-leader pleads guilty to racketeering, faces 20 years in prison". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
  27. ^ Simmons, Ann M. (July 17, 2009). "Lancaster mayor trying to keep Mongols motorcycle club out of town". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 20, 2009.
  28. ^ "Outlaw Biker Takedown Sets New Capture Record". America's Most Wanted. July 11, 2009. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  29. ^ "'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
  30. ^ "Mongols Win Case Again". The Aging Rebel. January 10, 2010. Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Diehl, Jörg; Fröhlingsdorf, Michael (October 21, 2010). "Hells Angels vs. Bremen Mongols: Biker War Feared in Germany". ABC News. Archived from the original on November 20, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  32. ^ Diehl, Jörg; Fröhlingsdorf, Michael (October 18, 2010). "Kriminalität: Pest und Cholera". Der Spiegel (in German). Archived from the original on December 8, 2010. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  33. ^ "Neue Achse des Bösen in Bremen". Bild (in German). October 18, 2010. Archived from the original on February 5, 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2011.
  34. ^ Taab, Daniel (June 25, 2011). ""Mongols" provozieren "Hells Angels"". Kölnische Rundschau (in German). Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  35. ^ "Mongols verbieten sich selbst - WESER-KURIER".

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