The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 76/No. 15      April 16, 2012

Chicano activist in L.A.
fights frame-up charges
LOS ANGELES, March 27—Two of six felony charges against Chicano political activist Carlos Montes were dismissed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli at a pretrial hearing today. The charges were related to applications Montes had filed in 2002 and 2005 for gun permits. The judge ruled that the statute of limitations on them had expired.

Montes still faces four felony charges for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition, and two charges of perjury for lying on gun registration paperwork. All the charges are based on the state’s claim that Montes has a felony record dating back to a 1969 arrest for leading a student strike demanding Chicano Studies and Black Studies at East Los Angeles College. Montes maintains he has never been convicted of a felony.

“The struggle continues,” Montes told a gathering of supporters outside the courtroom.

Montes is active in the fight for immigrant rights, as well as against U.S. wars and FBI repression. He was one of the founders of the Brown Berets, a Chicano nationalist organization.

In a predawn raid May 17, 2011, FBI agents and the SWAT team of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department—armed with riot gear and automatic weapons—smashed down the front door and ransacked Montes’ home, taking his computer, cell phones, and documents related to his political activity. While he was sitting in the back seat of the sheriff’s car, Montes said, an FBI agent asked him questions about the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, which he refused to answer.

On Sept. 24, 2010, the FBI had raided the homes of antiwar, union and political activists in Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities. The Freedom Road Socialist Organization was among the targeted groups. FBI spokesman Steve Warfield said at the time that the raids were part of an “ongoing Joint Terrorism Task Force investigation into activities concerning the material support of terrorism.” Montes was named in a subpoena left by the FBI in the office of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee.

Jorge Gonzalez, Montes’ lawyer, also filed a motion at today’s hearing for discovery on the FBI’s role in the raid and called for dismissing the charges. “The FBI started all this against Carlos because he’s a political activist,” Gonzalez said. The next hearing is scheduled for April 26.

The L.A. Committee to Stop FBI Repression has scheduled a “Night of Solidarity! A Defense Fundraiser for Carlos Montes” on Saturday, April 14, at 7 p.m. at the Echo Park United Methodist Church, 1226 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles. For more information, go to or call (626) 532-7164.
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