Jury strips bikies of colours
A CALIFORNIA jury has decided the Mongols motorcycle gang should be stripped of its trademarked logo in a first-of-its-kind verdict, Federal prosecutors said.
The jury in the US District Court in Santa Ana previously found Mongol Nation, the entity that owns the image of a Mongol warrior on a chopper, guilty of racketeering and conspiracy.
The verdict caps an unusual decade-long quest by prosecutors to dismantle the gang responsible for drug dealing and murder by seizing control of the trademark they said was core to the gang’s identity.
Gang members were “empowered by these symbols that they wear like armour”, Assistant US Attorney Steve Welk said.
The forfeiture still needs to be approved by a Federal judge and the practical effect of such an order was not immediately clear. When prosecutors announced the charges in 2008 they said a forfeiture order would allow any law enforcement officer to stop a gang member and “literally take the jacket right off his back”, according to court papers.
Prosecutors wouldn’t comment on Friday on what would happen. But defence lawyer Joseph Yanny questioned whether the judge would issue such an order and said the novel theory was ill-conceived.
Colours gone: Prosecutors hold Mongols colours outside a Los Angeles court. Picture: AP Photo/Ric Francis