October 8, 2022 — According to the federal government, it’s now official; despite the rampant speculation otherwise, dethroned Mongols Motorcycle Club boss David (Little Dave) Santillan has never been an informant for the ATF or any other California state agencies.
U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter declared his findings earlier this week after ordering a vetting of informant-databases in the wake of appeal pleas. With the ruling, Carter dismissed the club’s appeals based on accusations of Santillan’s cooperation and interfering in the club’s defense at a RICO trial four years ago. Several supervisory agents and city officials, including a representative from the ATF, testified in front of Carter that a search of their “CI” databases going as far back as two decades didn’t show any matches for Santillan’s name.
The Mongols MC was founded in Montebello, California in 1969 and is said to have more than 2,000 fully patched members nationwide. Santillan, 52, served as national president of The Mongols from 2008 until he was deposed last year following the surfacing of a video recording made by his then-estranged wife appearing to show a drunken and despondent Little Dave outing himself as an ATF informant while pleading for a reconciliation.
“John told me I have one year, one year. He’s retiring. After one more year, he’s gone and he can’t protect me anymore. So, (you and me), we need an exit strategy,” Little Dave can be seen and heard telling Annie Santillan in an IPhone Facetime video.
“John” is believed to be ATF agent John Ciccone. Little Dave claims the conversation was taken out of context and has since reconciled with his wife. Angered by her husband’s continued infidelity, Annie Santillan sent the video of the exchange to leaders in The Mongols, with an accompanying text, reading, “In other words, he’s a rat.”
Defense attorneys for the Mongols say Santillan blocked them from calling John Ciccone as a witness at the 2018 trial. Ciccone has signed an affidavit denying Santillan w
Little Dave Santillan testified under oath at an appeal-motion hearing back in the summer and refuted the allegations that he ever acted as a CI for Ciccone, the ATF or any other law enforcement agency. In interviews with the press, Little Dave has consistently denied ever cooperating with police and chalks up the narrative to a concerted effort by club rivals to smear his name publicly and push him out of power.