This slide show was produced by members of the SGVN team, including Raul Roa and Rod Leveque.
The US attorney wanted to own the trademarked logo of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang and a judge granted that request Wednesday, according to an Associated Press reporter who attended an afternoon hearing in federal court:
Here’s the top of the story:
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in Los Angeles bars the Mongols motorcycle gang from selling or distributing its trademarked logo after authorities arrested dozens of its members in six states.
No word yet if Ruben Cavazos has appeared in court or entered a plea. Cavazos, a former president of the group, is targeted as the head of the conspiracy.
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.
The single homicide alleged in the federal indictment against members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club occurred on Valentine’s Day last year.
The victim apparently was Leon Huddleston, a homeless man who was beaten to death with a pool cue at a bar in Lancaster.
Here’s a recap of the beating from a Web site known as the Antelope Valley War on Gangs and Crime.
Meanwhile, members of the outlaw motorcycle gang are expected to appear in federal court later today.
* Here’s what Jill Levoy wrote in the Homicide Report last year following Huddleston’s death:
Leon Huddleston, a 25-year-old white man, was beaten with a pool cue at 227 W. Pillsbury St. in Lancaster and died at 7:10 p.m. Feb. 22.
Huddleston, described by police as a local transient, was playing pool at Young’s Bar and Grill when two men came in, walked straight up to him, and hit him with a pool cue. Huddleston fell behind the bar. No argument or brawl preceded the attack. Detectives say they don’t know the motive. Huddleston “didn’t even have a chance to defend himself,” said Sgt. Jeff Cochran of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.
The suspects fled, and a handful of bar patrons who witnessed the attack also left the scene. Huddleston lived for a week on life support before dying. Los Angeles County supervisors have offered a $10,000 reward for information in this case. Anyone with tips is asked to call detectives at (323) 890-5635.
An outlaw motorcycle gang member is led on a perp walk by officers involved in a RICO bust of members of the Mongols Motorcycle gang.
A person is brought in to the Montebello Police Department after many
arrests overnight during an investigation conducted by the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), L.A. Sheriff Dept.,
Montebello Police and La Vegas Police. Over 160 federal search
warrants and 110 federal arrest warrants were served today on members
and associates of the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Gang nationwide.
(SGVN/Staff Photo by Raul Roa/SVCity)
This comes from a hand-out reporter Emma Gallegos received this morning at the Montebello Police Department:
Reporter Amanda Baumfeld did extensive research on a story that found Montebello City Councilman Robert Urteaga was once charged with forgery and grand theft. In a 1999 plea deal he plead no contest to grand theft. He’s expressed remorse.
Here’s the top of the story:
MONTEBELLO – A fight over a trash contract turned to mud slinging when a group opposed to the plan put materials from a City Councilman’s criminal record on the Internet.
In 1998, Councilman Robert Urteaga pleaded no contest to grand theft of personal property totaling $30,000, according to court documents.
“When I ran for office, I knew eventually someone would dig into my background and dig this up,” Urteaga said. “I just don’t think that this incident happening 10 years ago is a true reflection of who Robert Urteaga is.”