Mongols Motorcycle Gang Beats Up on the Feds Over Logo Licensing Issue
A federal judge said no way to a bid by prosecutors to legally relieve the Mongols motorcycle gang of their name and trademarked logo.
Calling his ruling ‘regrettable,’ U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II said he had to rule in favor of the gang because the government did not have the right to seize property from members of the gang who were not indicted in the sweep.
Prosecutors wanted to strip the notorious biker gang of its name and logo as one part of a criminal indictment handed down three years ago which accused nearly eighty members of the gang across six states of crimes which included murder, assault, drug trafficking and various robberies. The prosecutors wanted the judge to prevent members of the gang from using their name and logo in what they hoped would be a move to prevent the Mongols from continuing to operate.
The Mongols Motorcycle Club, also known as Mongol Nation or the Mongol Brotherhood, is a motorcycle gang and has been regularly called an “organized crime syndicate” by authorities. Originally put together in Montebello, California in 1969 by Hispanic Vietnam War veterans, the gang is said to have been formed as a reaction to members being refused entry by the Hells Angels because of their race.
According to most estimates, there are approximately 500 to 600 full-time members of the Mongols in California, and the gang has issued charters to groups in 14 US states, and international charters to Sweden, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Mexico.
In October of 2008, nearly forty members of the gang (including Ruben “Doc” Cavazos) were jailed after agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives infiltrated the group and became full patch members.
Later that month US District Court Judge Florence-Marie Cooper issued a previous injunction which prohibited club members and their associates from wearing, licensing or selling items which featured the Mongol’s logo.
“We felt strongly the law was on our side, but it’s difficult to impossible to predict the outcome of hotly contested legal issues,” said Mongol’s attorney, George Steele. “We felt our position was supported by the law, and apparently the court agreed.”