Chicano activist and Alhambra resident Carlos Montes was arrested on May 17 after Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies executed a search warrant and found a firearm at his home. He was charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a gun, reports EGP News.
Montes, 63, told EGP that police stormed into his house at approximately 5am, then confiscated personal items such his computer and cell phone. He was released on bail the next morning.
Montes is a well-known activist who has been at the forefront of the Chicano Movement, as well as immigration, anti-war, and police brutality struggles. He co-founded the Brown Berets, a Chicano youth organization that drew some of its inspiration from the Black Panther Party. In 1968, Montes helped orchestrate the Chicano Blowouts, a series of walkouts at East LA high schools that questioned the quality of education offered to students. Recently, Montes has joined in protests denouncing the LAPD’s role in Manuel Jamines death.
A throng of supporters, many of themselves activists, crowded the front of the Los Angeles Federal Building on May 20 to protest Montes’ arrest. Protesters accused the FBI of targeting Montes for his involvement in local activism.
Eric Gardner wrote in Fight Back! News that the “trumped-up criminal charges” against Montes “provided the pretext for suppression of political activities critical of the government.”
While Montes has declined to reveal the nature of his felony conviction, EGP News points to an interview he’d done with Telemundo’s Ruben Luengas, in which Montes said he was convicted after being charged with assaulting an officer at a 1979 rally at East Los Angeles College.
Montes supporters plan to protest outside the Alhambra Court House when he goes in for his first hearing on June 16.