In a first verdict of its kind, Friday, a federal jury ruled that the Mongolian motorcycle gang should be stripped of its logo.
The jury of the United States District Court in Santa Ana, Calif., Has the Mongol nation guilty of racketeering and conspiracy. The verdict was the second phase of a process focused on the confiscation of assets and limits a decade-long research by prosecutors to dismantle the gang declared responsible for drug dealing and murder.
"The Mongols are a notorious criminal organization whose members regularly engage in acts of violence against the forces of order, rival gangs and members of the public," said US attorney Nick Hanna. "The verdicts in this case label the Mongols as a racketeering enterprise and direct the confiscation of the assets used by the gang for decades to encourage and reward numerous acts of murder, assault and drug trafficking."
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"The verdicts in this case label the Mongols as a racketeering enterprise and direct the confiscation of the assets used by the gang for decades to encourage and reward numerous acts of murder, aggression and drug trafficking. "
Authorities claim the group's logo – a figure similar to Genghis Khan with sunglasses and a ponytail riding a motorcycle, which is worn on the back of leather jackets of Mongolian members – is directly related to the club's crimes.
The verdict will lead to the confiscation of the legal interest of the band in the word "Mongols" and to some of their patches, as well as the Mongol objects seized during the investigations
The members of the band were "enhanced by these symbols they wear like a "armor," said US attorney assistant Steve Welk.
U.S. District judge David O. Carter refused to immediately order the logos to give up and set a hearing next month to address possible issues of the first amendment raised by the verdict.
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The defender advocate of the Mongols Joseph Yanny challenged the reasoning for following the group's brand.
"If you were an officer of the forces of order and knew that there was a band out there and that they had emblems on that identifies who they are, because in the name of God you would remove them from them you do not know who they were? "Yanny said. "It's the stupidest thing."
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The Mongols were formed in the 60s in a suburb of Los Angeles. It is estimated that the group has more than 1,000 runners in chapters around the world.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.