Shooting up “Toys For Tots” charity events. Selling cocaine to Catholic high school football coaches. Earning “purple wings” by having sex with dead women.
Unsealed earlier this week, a vividly detailed, 177-page federal indictment (PDF) leveling 86 felony counts against 79 members of the Mongols motorcycle gang is a dizzying cavalcade of barbarous and degenerate acts, whose alleged perpetrators were arrested Tuesday during simultaneous raids involving more than 1,000 federal agents and local police in a half-dozen states, representing the culmination of a three-year undercover investigation dubbed “Operation Black Rain.” The indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Mongol gang members of engaging in drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering. The gang, made up of 500 to 600 members, is based in Los Angeles but has affiliate chapters in 13 states as well as Mexico and Canada.
According to the indictment, the four undercover officers who infiltrated the Mongols discovered that it was a fundamentally racist organization. The gang’s mostly Latino members were motivated to commit violent acts, up to and including murder, not only by greed, revenge and sheer bloodlust, but also by racist hatred of African-Americans, who the gang often targeted purely for the color of their skin. “Mongols crimes typically include acts of violence … and, very frequently, hate crimes directed against African-American persons who might come into contact with the Mongols,” it reads.
Among the racially motivated crimes alleged in the indictment:
• On Dec. 10, 2007, four members of the gang — Shawn “Monster” Buss, Robert Rios, Abram “Cane” Wedig and Joseph “Socks” Braden — attacked and beat an African-American patron at the Tokio Lounge in Hollywood, Calif., while shouting racial slurs at the victim.
• On Feb. 4, 2008, members of the gang threatened to assault an African-American patron at “Steve’s BBQ” unless he immediately left the restaurant.
• On July 20, 2006, two members of the gang beat and repeatedly stabbed a female gang associate after they “observed her in the company of an African-American man.” One of the assailants, Richard “Radone” Espinoza, has been charged with attempted murder in that attack.
“The Mongols organization is … racist and hostile to the presence of African-Americans in bars or clubs where Mongols are present, or African-Americans in the presence of females associated with Mongols or Mongols members,” according to the indictment.
The gang extended its hatred to law enforcement. The indictment alleged that in 2006 Jorge “Solo” Viramontes “advised the [undercover] officer about the availability of other weapons, including hand grenades and rocket launchers, he and other Mongols had planned to use in order to ‘blow up’ a court house where a Mongols member was on trial.”