SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) — A judge is expected to decide soon whether to order a new trial against the Mongols Motorcycle Club in Orange County, who were convicted of racketeering and conspiracy in 2018.
At the center of the decision is the question as to whether the then-president of the club was serving as a confidential informant for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
A June 2021 recorded phone conversation between Annie Santillan and her husband, David Santillan, is a key element in the federal court hearing where a judge will decide if there is enough evidence for a new trial.
David, the club’s now former president, is accused of being a confidential informant for the ATF. The club’s defense team is using that accusation against David as part of the effort to obtain a new trial.
In the secret recording David is heard talking to his wife about the expected retirement of John Ciccone, the lead ATF agent on the case.
“After one year he’s done and he can’t protect me, so we have to have an exit strategy,” David said to his wife on the phone.
On Tuesday, Annie testified that she shared the video of the conversation through text messages with other members of the biker gang.
She told them David was “simply a (confidential informant). In other words he is a rat.”