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Member of Mongols Motorcycle Gang Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Firearms Charge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2009

Las Vegas, Nev. – The Sergeant of Arms for the Mongols motorcycle gang in Las Vegas has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm, announced Greg Brower, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Gary Lawson, 45, of Las Vegas, Nevada , was sentenced on Thursday, July 9, 2009, by U.S. District Judge Roger L. Hunt. Lawson pleaded guilty in March to Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Lawson had previously been convicted in Arkansas of Theft By Receiving, and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

On June l2, 2008, an ATF Special Agent, who was acting in an undercover capacity, went to Lawson's residence in Las Vegas where Lawson showed him two handguns. The undercover ATF agent told Lawson that he would like to obtain a smaller firearm that he could carry in his pocket. Lawson made arrangements to sell the undercover agent a pistol at a later date, and the undercover agent paid Lawson $100. On July 2, 2008, the undercover ATF agent met with Lawson again at the residence of another Mongols member in Las Vegas. Lawson gave the undercover agent a .380-ca1iber pistol which he had been carrying in his vest, and Lawson agreed that the $100 he had received from Larson in June was sufficient payment for the firearm.

Lawson was arrested in the Los Angeles area in October 2008 following a wide-ranging undercover investigation of the Mongols motorcycle gang, which led to arrests and federal charges against 79 gang members for racketeering, murder, hate crimes, assaults, firearms violations and narcotics trafficking. The Mongols are an outlaw motorcycle gang that was formed in Montebello, California in the 1970s. There are as many as 600 members nationwide, with approximately 400 based in Southern California. Many of the Mongols were recruited from some of the most violent Los Angeles-area street gangs, including the "Avenues" and "18th Street." The Mongols have been in an escalating battle with the Hells Angels motorcycle gang since 2002 when the two groups engaged in a massive brawl at Harrah's Casino in Laughlin, Nevada. The Mongols have also been involved in an ongoing and violent feud with the Mexican Mafia over Mongols drug trafficking activities in areas controlled by the Mexican Mafia.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Johnson.

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