In a first-time ruling on Friday, a federal jury decided that the motorcycle gang of the Mongols should be freed from their protected logo.
The jury of the US District Court in Santa Ana, California, found the previously Mongol nation guilty of revenge and conspiracy. The ruling was the second phase of a lawsuit involving the loss of assets, and is limited to the prosecutors' ten-year search for a gang allegedly blamed for drug trafficking and murder.
"The Mongols are a notorious criminal organization whose members regularly engage in violence against law enforcement officers, rival gangs, and members of the public," said US attorney Nick Hanna. "The judgments in this case characterize the Mongols as a blustering company and usher in the gang's decayed possessions for decades to promote and reward numerous killings, assaults and drug trafficking." RATTLES NEW MEXICO CAPITAL
"The sentences in this case denounce the Mongols as a blustering enterprise and direct the rejection of property that the gang had used for decades to promote and reward numerous acts of murder, assault and drug trafficking." ̵1; US Attorney Nick Hanna
The authorities claim the group's logo – a Genghis Khan-like figure wearing sunglasses and a ponytail on a motorcycle that's worn on the back of the leather vests of Mongolian members – is directly linked to the Police connected crimes of the club.
The ruling will result in the gang's legal interest in the word "Mongol" and some of its patches, as well as Mongol objects seized during the investigation, being lost, prosecutors said.
Band members were "strengthened by these symbols that they wear as armor," said US Assistant Attorney Steve Welk.
US. District Judge David O. Carter declined to give up the logos immediately and hold a hearing next month to address possible First Amendment issues raised by the ruling.
Mongol Defense Attorney Joseph Yanny challenged the reasons why he wanted to pursue the trademark of the group.
"If you were a police officer and you knew there was a gang there and they had emblems that identified who, why, in God's name, would you take them from them so you do not know who they are? "Yanny said. "It's the dumbest."
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. The Mongols were founded in the 1960s in a suburb of Los Angeles. It is estimated that the group has more than 1,000 drivers worldwide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.