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Motel shut down to keep Mongol bikers out

July 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Lancaster's mayor had vowed he'd do everything possible to keep the Mongols Motorcycle Club out of his town, calling them 'domestic terrorists.' On Thursday, deputies shut down a motel where the bikers planned to stay this weekend.L.A. County Sheriff Deputies swarmed Desert Valley Inn on the heels of an order by the city to shut the motel down.

"We received word that the Mongols Outlaw Motorcycle Club were going to have a convention here at the Desert Inn," said Axel Anderson from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The Mongols, according to law enforcement, have a long history of violence.

"They probably, right now, are the most powerful outlaw motorcycle group in Southern California," Anderson said.

In recent months, federal agents have raided Mongol hangouts in California, arresting members of the gang for involvement in drug trafficking, hazing crimes and murder.

"I can't go into what they we're specifically shut down for. We have this ongoing case with the District Attorney's Office. Backed taxes was one of the reasons that they had their business license revoked," said Mark Bozigian from the city of Lancaster.

City officials said knowing that the Mongols motorcycle gang had booked most of the rooms at the hotel for an event this weekend played a role in the city's decision to use any legal means to prevent that from happening.

"The prospect of the Mongols motorcycle gang coming up here and renting the whole hotel only hastened the prosecution of this case," Bozigian said.

With Lancaster holding its annual street fair on Friday night, officials say they would encourage all gangs, including the Mongols Motorcycle gang, to stay away.

"We're hoping anyway that they will decide not to come, if they have no place to stay," Anderson said.

The owner of the Desert Inn would not speak with Eyewitness News.

"The thing with the Mongols, they had two guys walk in there and pay rent," said Jerry Morgan, a friend of the motel owner.

"When you're open to the public, you have to rent to anybody."

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