[Ppnews] Judge Refuses To Dismiss Charges Against Carlos Montes

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Feb 2 17:57:29 EST 2012

Judge Refuses To Dismiss Charges Against Carlos Montes
Outrageous Court Decision – Prepare for Trial Feb. 8

Carlos next court hearing is Wednesday, February 
8, 2012. Carlos Montes has declared himself “not 
guilty” on 6 felony charges, dealing with an 
alleged 42-year old arrest and firearms code 
violations.Montes’ arrest is part of the FBI 
attack on 23 other antiwar and solidarity activists.

Los Angeles, CA - “In the interests of justice 
this case should be dismissed,” said attorney 
Jorge Gonzales, lawyer for veteran Chicano leader 
Carlos Montes, in Los Angeles Superior Court, 
Jan. 24. Minutes later, though, Judge Lomeli 
sided with the prosecution, refusing to dismiss 
the six trumped up felony charges against Montes, 
on the grounds of insufficient evidence, setting 
the stage for a trial later this year. The 
courtroom was filled with supporters of Montes 
who wanted to see the charges dropped.

"This proves what we believed all along," said 
Eric Gardner, a member of the LA Committee to 
Stop FBI Repression, “The government is going to 
use all means at its disposal to try and get 
Carlos - and other anti-war and solidarity 
activists around the country - behind bars."

Before Montes’ court appearance, activists 
gathered outside the court building demanding 
that the charges, which carry up to 18 years in 
prison, be dismissed. The protesters ranged from 
long time political activists to street vendors 
from Central America who Montes is working with 
to fight police harassment and racist discrimination.

The prosecution has told the press that they want 
Montes to spend at least five years in jail.

Speaking in front of the courthouse, Mick Kelly, 
a spokesperson the Committee to Stop FBI 
Repression, whose Minneapolis home was also 
raided by the FBI stated, “On May 17, 2011, the 
L.A. Sheriff Department - acting at the behest of 
the FBI - raided Montes’s home. The pretext was 
phony violations of the firearm code. These 
alleged violations have no basis in reality 
whatsoever. At issue in this case are the civil 
liberties of all us who are standing up against war and injustice.”

The May 17 raid, by the Los Angeles Sheriff's 
Department and members of the FBI, took place at 
5:00 a.m. The L.A. County Sheriff’s SWAT team and 
Emergency Operations Bureau agents armed with 
automatic weapons broke down the door to Montes' 
home while he slept. They seized computers, cell 
phones, current and historical political 
documents and left Montes' home in shambles. Montes could have been killed.

Kelly continued, “Carlos Montes is one of the 24 
anti-war and international solidarity activists 
who have been hit by FBI and grand jury 
repression since Sept. 24, 2010. Like many of the 
others who have been caught up in this 
witch-hunt, Montes was one of the organizers of 
the massive protests at the 2008 Republican 
National Convention. And like the others, he has 
spoken out tirelessly against U.S intervention 
abroad and oppression here at home.

“Carlos Montes is a hero who has devoted his 
entire life to making this world a better place. 
In the 1960s he was a founder and leader of the 
Brown Berets, the historic East L.A. walkouts and 
the Chicano Moratorium. He is an important leader 
in the movement for immigrant rights and has 
worked to defend public education. Montes is an 
example of a community leader who serves the 
people and builds the people’s struggle for justice,” stated Kelly.

Outrageous decision

Montes' defense challenged the state’s claim that 
he has a felony record from his 1969 arrest for 
leading a student strike demanding Chicano 
Studies and Black Studies at East L.A. College. 
This is important. That the legal record does not 
support the claim of a past felony should rule 
out the District Attorney going ahead with this 
case. The government is alleging that it was a 
crime for Montes to buy several guns at a local 
sporting goods store, because of the nonexistent felony record.

The prosecution is basing their evidence on a 
42-year-old incident, where during this student 
strike and rally, the L.A. County Sheriff’s 
Department invaded the East L.A. college campus, 
beating and arresting student protesters. During 
the turmoil, Montes was arrested and charged with 
assaulting a sheriff’s deputy.

"This case is not about old records," says Charla 
Schlueter of the LA Committee to Stop FBI 
Repression, "The FBI is dredging up a case over 
four decades old because of Carlos' involvement 
in the anti-war, immigrant rights and 
international solidarity movements today. They 
don't like that he is part of a movement that challenges U.S. imperialism."

Next court appearance

The next court date is Feb. 8. Montes says his 
legal team will continue the discovery process on 
the sheriffs to get ready for trial.

“The government knows its case against Carlos 
Montes is weak,” said Mick Kelly. “So they have 
made up a lie that Montes admitted to a felony 
record while he was being held in squad car after 
the raid on his home.” The point of the discovery 
motion is to get to the bottom of this false allegation.

See the L.A. Committee’s web site at 
for further details on time and location for an 
emergency meeting to defend Carlos Montes in Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 11.

Montes states that he is looking forward to a 
jury trial and that he is confident that a jury 
of his peers will find him not guilty.

Our mailing address is:
Committee to Stop FBI Repression
PO Box 14183
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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