Feds Bust Dozens of Mongols Motorcycle Gang Members
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
APOct. 21: Law enforcement officers investigate the home of Ruben Cavazos, former national president of theMongol motorcycle gang.
LOS ANGELES — An undercover investigation that put federal agents inside thenotorious Mongols motorcycle gang ended Tuesday with arrests of dozens of memberson warrants ranging from drug sales to murder and a move by the government to seizethe group's name.
Law enforcement agents said the operation could herald the end of the Mongol MotorcycleClub, a Southern California-based group of 600 or so members that claims to be a social club but that prosecutors say is a criminal gang involved in murder, torture, drug trafficking andother offenses."This is one of those celebrated investigations in which the organization from top to bottomhas been charged and targeted," said Michael Sullivan, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. "It puts a stake in the heart of the Mongols."
At least 61 members were arrested under a racketeering indictment. Agents served 110 arrestwarrants across Southern California and in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Ohio.The 177-page indictment describes a tightly organized group routinely engaging in violence.It alleges the group, which is mostly Latino, sometimes attacks black people and commitsrobberies, steals motorcycles, and funds itself in part by stealing credit card accountinformation."It would allow law enforcement to seize the leather jackets right off their back,"O'Brien said.John Torres, the ATF agent in charge in Los Angeles, described the pivotal role hisorganization's four undercover agents played in the investigation.