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By Associated Press
LOS ANGELES ̵
The jury of the US District Court of Santa Ana formerly found Mongol Nation, the entity that owns the image of a Mongol warrior on a helicopter guilty of racketeering and conspiracy.
The verdict is an unusual decade of prosecutors seeking to dismantle the gang responsible for drug trafficking and murder by seizing control of the brand they said was at the heart of gang identity.
Gang members were "empowered by these symbols to wear as armor" Assistant US Attorney Steve Welk said.
Forfeiture must still be approved by a federal judge and the practical effect of such an order was not immediately clear. When the prosecutors announced the charges in 2008, they said that a law enforcement order would allow any law enforcement officer to stop a gang member and "literally take the jacket straight out," according to case law.
Prosecutors would not comment on Friday what would happen ahead. But defense lawyer Joseph Yanny asked if the judge would actually issue such an order and said that the novel theory was incomprehensible.
"If you were a law enforcement officer and you knew there was a gang out there and they had emblems identifying who they are, why in the name of God you would like to remove them so you couldn't know who they was? "Yanny said. "That's the stupid thing."
Yanny, who challenges the beliefs, claims during the trial that the organization was a club, not a gang that did not tolerate criminal activity. He said the government targeted the group because of its great Mexican-American population and turned the crimes into some "conviction".
In November, former pro wrestler and Minnesota Gov tested. Jesse Ventura for the defense and denied Mongols was a criminal gang. Ventura said he did not commit crimes or was told to do so when he was a Mongol in the 1970s.
But lawyers found the Mongols to be a criminal company responsible for murder, attempted murder and drug trafficking.
Killers in the hall were awarded a special skull-and-crossbones patch, assistant US lawyer Christopher M. Brunwin said.
He told lawyers about the killing of a Hell's Angels leader in San Francisco, a Nevada fight in 2002 that left members of both clubs dead, and a policeman from Pomona was killed when he killed a Mongol member's door to release a search statement in 2014.
The effort to take the logo followed the fierce beliefs of 77 gang members in 2008 after the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents infiltrated the band.
Four male ATF agents became "full-patch" members and four female agents constituted their boyfriend during the long investigation.
"Being a Mongolian promis is one of two things – death or imprisonment," said one member to one of the agents who received a coveted patch, accused prosecutors.
The Mongols were founded in a suburb of Los Angeles in 1969. The group is estimated to have more than 1000 riders in chapters worldwide.
The verdict will lead to the forfeiture of the legend's legal interest in the word "Mongols" and some of their patches as well as Mongolian objects seized during the investigation, accused prosecutors.
A judge could also impose fines at a future hearing.