Reporter Amanda Baumfeld wrote an extensive story detailing the history of the Mongols Motorcycle gang in Montebello and beyond. Here’s an excerpt:
The Mongols Motorcycle Club began in the 1970s as a group of men with a passion for motorcycles and partying before turning into a violent criminal enterprise, officials said.
Federal law enforcement officials attempted to dismantle that enterprise Tuesday when they arrested suspected Mongols members and their associates in a sweep targeting the outlaw motorcycle gang.
But the Mongols were not always an outlaw gang, according to former member Anthony Vodnik, 60.
Vodnik, also known as “Snake,” is an original Mongol. He served with the motorcycle club for nearly 37 years. Disagreeing about the direction the club had taken, Vodnik retired in January.
“It’s a good club,” Vodnik said. “But some of us older members want to bring it back to how it used to be; we are tired over this war over drugs and who controls drugs.”
Officials say the gang was formed by a group of Latino men who were banned from joining the Hells Angels because of their heritage.