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Mongol bikers blocked from motel

July 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A motel in the Mojave Desert was shut down Thursday ahead of an annual meeting of hundreds of motorcyclists belonging to the notorious Mongols biker gang.Lancaster city officials installed chain-link fencing at the entrance to the 144-room, Desert Inn on Sierra Highway in order to block the bikers from entering.

According to the Associated Press, the motel has a $16,000 contract to provide space and rooms for up to 300 bikers for the annual meeting this weekend.

So instead, city officials closed down the motel on the basis that its owner owes $180,000 in motel bed tax payments.

An attorney for the Mongols said the organization plans to sue over the contract. Hundreds of members are still expected to attend a street fair in Lancaster Friday.

Mayor R. Rex Parris has accused the Mongols gang of engaging in what he called "domestic terrorism." Dozens of Mongols were indicted last year on drug trafficking, murder and other charges.

AP contributed to this report.

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