Police say they’ll beef up their presence in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards this weekend after an ATF warning that the Mongols motorcycle gang is likely planning a rally there that could draws hundreds of members of the notoriously violent gang.
The Mongols have been called the “most violent and dangerous” outlaw motorcycle gang in the nation by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents, according to the Department of Justice website.
An ATF intelligence note has been circulating in Fort Worth, warning that authorities are highly confident that the Mongols are planning a “run” in the Stockyards this weekend. The notice, copies of which were sent to the Star-Telegram, states that the gang members are expected to start arriving late Thursday and that there could be anywhere from 300 to 700 bikers.
Officer Brad Perez, a Fort Worth police spokesman, said in an email that the department’s intelligence unit “is aware and we are providing extra patrol/special detail.”
Councilman Carlos Flores, whose district includes the Stockyards, said Wednesday that the Police Department had made him and other business owners aware of the planned Mongols rally.
“The Police Department is being very proactive and will have a visible presence in the Stockyards to ensure that public safety is maintained,” Flores said. “They have also communicated that to some of the representatives of the Mongols motorcycle club.”
The gang is known to be involved in the transportation and distribution of drugs, including cocaine and meth, and has frequently committed violent crimes, including assault, intimidation and murder to defend their territory and uphold their reputation, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
“A majority of the Mongols membership consists of Hispanic males who lives in the Los Angeles area, and many are former street gang members with a long history of using violence to settle grievances,” the Justice Department states in a summary about the gang on its website.
The gang is not one typically associated with Texas. It was not even named in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s 2017 Texas Gang Threat Assessment, which provides an overview of gang activity in the state.
But the gang has apparently begun migrating into Texas over the past few months, forming almost a dozen chapters across the state with members that include a handful of former disgruntled members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
“Although only operating in Texas for a short period of time, violence has already transpired between the two adversaries in Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas,” the ATF note states.
Perez said Fort Worth police are not expecting any issues between the two groups at this weekend’s rally.
“Several representatives of the Fort Worth Police Department have spoken to the local Mongols chapter president and he assured us that the local Bandidos chapter has been made aware of this gathering and that they do not expect any issues,” Perez said in an email. “The concern with this particular gathering is the number anticipated to participate.”
In June, 21 members and associates of a Tennessee chapter of the Mongols were indicted by a federal grand jury with various alleged crimes, including racketeering conspiracy, murder in aid of racketeering, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and large-scale drug trafficking.
Earlier in the year, the same chapter had 19 members and associates indicted on charges of racketeering conspiracy, murder, drug trafficking and other related crimes.