tisdag 28 juni 2011

Feds want to bar Mongols biker gang from using its trademarked logo

Federal prosecutors requested a ruling Monday that would block members of the notorious Mongols motorcycle gang from wearing or distributing its trademarked logo or using its name.

Prosecutors made the request in district court in Los Angeles, and if U.S. District Judge Otis Wright signs the order, the government would own the logo and the club’s name. This is the first time the U.S. government has sought control of a gang’s identity through a court order.

“This patch is a central element of the identity of the gang. We’re trying to dismantle a criminal organization, and we’re trying to use whatever tools we can to do it,” said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office. “In this case it shows our determination to go after this organization as a whole — top to bottom leadership — and after the proceeds of criminal activity.”

A 2008 racketeering indictment accused Mongols members of murder, drug trafficking and torture. More than 100 people faced charges in state and federal courts, and Mrozek said dozens have been found guilty.

One of those members was former Mongol president Ruben “Doc” Cavazos, who pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and is expected to be sentenced later this year.

While heading the gang, Cavazos registered and trademarked the Mongol logo, Mrozek said. After Cavazos pleaded guilty to the criminal charges he faced, prosecutors realized they could request that the logo be forfeited because the trademark was used while the club was involved in criminal activity.

“The fact that they wanted legal protection gave us both the idea and the avenue to go after the logo,” Mrozek said.

Feds in CA seek order banning motorcycle gang logo- The Associated Press
Judge considers seizing motorcycle gang's trademark and logo- 89.3 KPCC
Feds seek order banning motorcycle gang logo- San Francisco Chronicle

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