Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mongols Motorcycle Gang Member Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murdering President of San Francisco Hells Angels

Christopher Bryan Ablett, a/k/a “Stoney,” a member of the Modesto Chapter of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang, was sentenced to serve two concurrent life sentences and one life sentence to run consecutive, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. The sentence was imposed for the defendant’s gang-related murder of Mark “Papa” Guardado, the president of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels, on September 2, 2008 at 24th Street and Treat Avenue in the Mission District of San Francisco.

“The defendant killed a complete stranger for no reason other than his membership in a rival motorcycle gang,” U.S. Attorney Haag said. “This sentence should send a clear message that there is a heavy price to pay for engaging in such a senseless act of violence. There is nothing we can do to bring Mr. Guardaro back. I hope, however, that this conviction and sentence begin to bring his family some closure.”

Evidence at Ablett’s trial showed that during a trip to San Francisco to visit a friend, Ablett was armed with a foot-long military knife and a .357 magnum revolver and brought a Mongols full-patch vest and T-shirt that only a full member of the Mongols is allowed to wear. According to testimony from Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) gang expert Special Agent John Ciccone and former Mongols undercover ATF Special Agent Darrin Kozlowski, the Mongols are an organized criminal motorcycle gang whose primary rival is the Hells Angels motorcycle gang.

When Guardado learned that Ablett was wearing a Mongols patch shirt in a bar in the Mission, Guardado went to the street outside the bar and approached Ablett. A fight broke out, and Ablett stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice, killing him. According to the testimony of FBI Special Agent Jacob Millspaugh, the case agent, Ablett’s phone records showed that he spent the next several hours calling people who were identified as members of the Mongols.

Following the trial, on February 22, 2012, the jury rejected Ablett’s claims that he acted in self-defense, in defense of his friends, and in the heat of passion. The jury also found that the defendant murdered Guardado to maintain or increase his position in the Mongols and that the Mongols engaged in racketeering activity.

The sentence was handed down by United States District Court Judge Richard Seeborg for Ablett’s convictions for murder in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959; assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1959; using a firearm during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c); and using a firearm causing murder during a crime of violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(j). A federal life sentence does not allow for parole.

The case was prosecuted by former Assistant United States Attorney Christine Wong and Assistant United States Attorneys Kathryn Haun, Wilson Leung, and William Frentzen; with the assistance of paralegal specialist Lili ArauzHaase, legal techs Marina Ponomarchuk, Daniel Charlier-Smith, and Ponly Tu. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and the San Francisco Police Department.

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