Former Mongols Continue to Press Their Case

By Girardot, Frank C | Pasadena Star-News, November 22, 2012 | Go to article overview

Former Mongols Continue to Press Their Case


Girardot, Frank C, Pasadena Star-News


Gallery: Guns and Bikes: Photos from the Mongols' good and bad times

WEST COVINA - Al "The Suit" Cavazos won a court battle and got his bike back, but the former Mongol associate says his fight with the federal government is far from over.

Despite the resolution of "The Suit's" forfeiture case, Al and his brother Ruben "Doc" Cavazos continue to press their claim that a racketeering case brought by the government against the Mongols was predicated on a crime that never happened.

In an email sent from the federal prison where he is serving time, "Doc" Cavazos said the return of Al's motorcycle is tantamount to an admission that something was wrong with the federal government's case against the club.

"After four years of my brother ... knocking on the doors of politicians, news media outlets and law enforcement agencies and after four years of my son's mother and myself writing letters to the same organizations, the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms are finally forced to admit that there was something wrong with the testimony on the part of law enforcement," he wrote. "I call it corruption at its worse. They will call it an 'honest mistake."'

The beef between the Cavazos and the federal government stems from an April 2007 shooting outside Nicola's strip club in Commerce. An investigation into the shooting resulted in the arrest of Mongols member Denis "Steaky" Maldonado, who pleaded no contest and received a 12-year state prison sentence for attempted murder.

The Cavazos brothers claim Maldonado's plea was coerced as "Steaky" believed he would receive a stiffer prison sentence if a jury didn't believe his story.

Al Cavazos said he won't stop pressing for what he believes is the only just resolution of his case.

"These are dirty, corrupt cops," Al Cavazos said. "I really want the government to do something about the corruption behind this case."

Two other motorcycles sought by Cavazos - one belonging to his brother "Doc" and the other belonging to his nephew Ruben "Lil Rubes" Cavazos - have been forfeited, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

"The court did not order the return of any bikes claimed by Al Cavazos," Mrozek said. "His claims as to two of the three bikes were stricken by Judge Carter."

The three bikes were among hundreds of rifles, pistols and shotguns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, $178,361 in cash, 139 motorcycles, nine cartons of cigarettes, a Daisy BB gun, a Honda Civic, a GMC Yukon and assorted pieces of jewelry taken by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Oct. …

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