LOS ANGELES — A Cal­ifornia jury decided Fri­day that the Mongols mo­tor­cycle gang should be stripped of its trademarked logo in a first-of-its-kind ver­dict, federal prosecutors said.

The jury in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana pre­vious­ly found Mongol Na­tion, the entity that owns the image of a Mongol war­ri­or on a chopper, guil­ty of racketeering and con­spir­acy.

The verdict caps an un­usual decade-long quest by prosecutors to dismantle the gang responsible for drug dealing and murder by seizing control of the trademark they said was core to the gang’s identity.

Gang members were “empowered by these symbols that they wear like armor,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Welk said.

The forfeiture still needs to be approved by a federal judge and the prac­tic­al effect of such an order was not immediately clear. When prosecutors an­nounced the charges in 2008 they said a forfeiture order would allow any law en­force­ment officer to stop a gang member and “lit­er­al­ly take the jack­et right off his back,” ac­cord­ing to court papers.

Prosecutors wouldn’t com­ment Friday on what would happen going for­ward. But defense lawyer Joseph Yanny questioned wheth­er the judge would act­u­ally issue such an order and said the novel theory was ill-conceived.

“If you were a law en­force­ment officer and you knew there was a gang out there and they had em­blems on that identifies who they are, why in God’s name would you want to take them off of them so you couldn’t know who they were?” Yanny said. “It’s the stu­pid­est thing.”

Yanny, who is challenging the convictions, argued at trial that the organization was a club, not a gang, that didn’t tolerate crim­in­al activity. He said the gov­ern­ment targeted the group because of its large Mex­ican-American pop­u­la­tion and turned the crimes of some into a “group con­vic­tion.”

In November, former pro wrestler and Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura tes­tif­ied for the defense, deny­ing the Mongols were a crim­in­al gang. Ventura said he neith­er committed crimes nor was told to do so when he was a Mongol in the 1970s.

But jurors found the Mon­gols were a criminal en­ter­prise responsible for mur­der, attempted murder and drug dealing.

Killers in the gang were awarded a special skull-and-crossbones patch, As­sist­ant U.S. Attorney Chris­to­pher M. Brunwin said.

He told jurors about the kill­ing of a Hells Angels lead­er in San Francisco, a Nevada brawl in 2002 that left members of both clubs dead, and the death of a Pomona policeman who was killed as he broke down the door of a Mongols member to serve a search warrant in 2014.

The effort to take the logo followed the racketeering con­victions of 77 gang mem­bers in 2008 after U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents infiltrated the gang.

Four male ATF agents be­came “full-patch” mem­bers and four female agents posed as their girl­friends during the lengthy investigation.

“Being a Mongol prom­ises you one of two things — death or prison,” a member told one of the agents who received a coveted patch, prosecutors said.

The Mongols was found­ed in a Los Angeles suburb in 1969. The group is es­tim­ated to have more than 1,000 riders in chapters world­wide.

In 2009, the Mongols at­tempt­ed to conduct its an­nu­al convention at the for­mer Desert Inn motel on Sierra Highway in Lan­cas­ter, but when Mayor R. Rex Parris learned of the plans, he and city staffers acted quickly to block the event, shutting down the motel for health and safety code violations and nearly $200,000 in unpaid hotel bed tax payments.

City workers put up a chain-link fence around the motel, which never re­opened under the same op­erator, and the Mongols’ event was canceled.

The verdict will lead to the forfeiture of the gang’s legal interest in the word “Mongols” and some of their patches, as well as Mongols items seized dur­ing the investigation, pros­e­cutors said.

A judge could also im­pose fines at a future sen­tencing hearing.

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