In the wake of Laughlin, a new era dawned for the Mongols MC as Ruben “Doc” Cavazos assumed leadership. Elected as the president of this notorious biker nation, he would be held accountable by former peers for transforming the Mongols into one of the most prominent criminal enterprises on the West Coast. Assisting him in this takeover were his brother, Al “the Suit” Cavazos, and his son, Ruben “Lil Rubes” Cavazos Jr. Doc’s tenure brought about significant changes, such as bypassing the traditional requirement for every member to be a Harley-Davidson owner and rider, instead recruiting Hispanic street gang members who entered as part-time Mongols without going through the prospect ritual.
Doc’s leadership of the Mongols MC was far from uneventful. He found himself under investigation by the ATF during Operation Black Rain, which led to the issuance of 110 arrest warrants in October 2008 for Mongol members in California, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. His controversial reign was also documented in an episode of the History Channel’s Gangland Season 2, titled “Mongol Nation“, which shed light on the club’s activities. Furthermore, undercover ATF agents infiltrated the Mongols, gaining patch membership status after the feds cracked down on the club. America’s Most Wanted had unrestricted access to these operations, recording the arrests that followed Doc’s and other defendants’ guilty pleas to racketeering charges.
Ultimately, Doc Cavazos admitted to leading a criminal conspiracy known as the Mongols Motorcycle Club, with the club’s registered trademarks serving as a source of influence over the RICO enterprise he operated. Law enforcement conducted a thorough search of his 2,760 square-foot home in South Hills, West Covina, discovering a substantial gun collection and a bulletproof vest. Subsequently, after becoming a government informant, Doc received a 14-year sentence.
This information regarding the former National President can be found on his former club’s website, which notes his swift departure after changing sides and pleading guilty to the RICO indictment. In doing so, he forfeited rights, title, and interest in certain assets, including the Mongols Registered Trademarks. The club membership, feeling robbed and incited to conflict with the Mexican Mafia, voted Doc out in a meeting held in Vernon, California on August 30, 2008.
The Mongols MC, often touted as “what everyone fears”, found themselves in a confrontation with the powerful Mexican Mafia, also known as La Eme. This standoff emerged from a dispute over a meth lab discovered by the police, which the Eme attributed to the Mongols. In addition to covering the lab’s costs, the Eme demanded a share of the Mongols’ drug sales as a “drug tax.” Doc conveyed these demands to the club, and tensions escalated into open conflict. However, the Mongols were ill-equipped to handle the situation, resulting in violence across East Los Angeles, with the Surenos-controlled Eme targeting Mongols. This conflict compounded their ongoing rivalry with the Hells Angels.
As Doc fought on two fronts, dodging assassination attempts and enduring suspicions from fellow MC members, the Mongols decided to forgo their traditional colors. The violence led to over 20 Mongols members losing their lives, with a resolution reached only through a significant payment. Despite this, the lingering issues prompted Doc’s expulsion from the MC, as many former members held him accountable.
The club faced further legal challenges, with Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of the US District Court issuing an injunction that prohibited the use of the Mongol logo by club members, family, and associates, considering it a symbol of intimidation for their criminal activities. This action was an extension of the ATF’s Operation Black Rain in 2008, following Doc’s admission that the logo was used to advance their criminal enterprise. Several defendants, including Cavazos, pleaded guilty, further establishing the club as a criminal conspiracy and justifying the forfeiture of the name and patch.
To protest against the federal lawsuit targeting their logo, the Mongols held demonstrations. The case was eventually resolved on September 16, 2015, when Federal District Judge David O. Carter ruled against the forfeiture of all rights to the club’s emblems and patches, marking the end of a long legal battle.
Despite the club’s share of controversies and conflicts, they continued to expand, particularly on an international scale. Even when CNN’s Lisa Ling accepted their invitation to spend time with them, the Mongols maintained a cooperative attitude with the media, shedding light on law enforcement targeting and harassment. The resulting CNN special, “This is the Life“, which aired on October 7, 2015, added to the legendary reputation of the Mongols MC.
Find out how the most dangerous motorcycle club, Mongols MC, was formed in our previous blog article. In the meantime, discuss with other bikers in our motorcycle app CryptoMoto whether motorcycle clubs are necessary and whether their patches and logos are trademarks.