Motorcycle gangs have developed a unique place in popular culture. However, one California man, who is connected with a California chapter of the Mongols biker gang, was recently convicted of federal firearms offenses and murder. He will likely face serious penalties when he is sentenced in a couple months.
The man is accused of killing the President of San Francisco's Hells Angels chapter in 2008. When the man travelled to San Francisco to commit the crime for which he has been convicted, he apparently had a military knife and a .357 magnum firearm, according to the prosecution. The Hells Angels' leader was stabbed and shot outside of a bar after a fight broke out. During the course of the trial, the defense argued that the man convicted was just acting in self-defense. Apparently, the man was motivated commit the murder in order to gain a better position in his gang.
Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives worked with local police on the investigation.
The California man has been charged with four crimes, including murder in aid of racketeering and assault with a weapon in aid of racketeering. For the murder charge, he faces a minimum of life in prison without parole and for the federal weapons charge he could have an additional 20 years added to the sentence. In total, the man could face up to three life terms in prison and significant fines. Sentencing will occur in a California federal court.
It's obvious that this man faced incredibly serious charges. Everyone accused of a crime, no matter how severe, has a constitutional guarantee to due-process and a capable defense in court. The jury involved in the case did not find the self-defense argument to be convincing. Having effective representation could mean the difference between freedom and life in prison.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, "Mongols Motorcycle Gang Member Convicted Of Murdering President Of San Francisco Hells Angels," Feb. 23, 2012