The Bandidos biker gang arrests have finally come after a 23-month undercover investigation by DEA, FBI and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Biker gang arrests of this magnitude are very rare, and take a great deal of man-hours and resources. While the arrests occurred in Texas, the potential leads gathered could potentially lead to arrests in other states and even in other countries, considering the spread of Bandidos influence.
The Bandidos “biker gang” is actually a worldwide motorcycle club with chapters in at least 28 countries throughout the world. Though they are headquartered in Texas, they have a wide and spreading reach throughout the world. New Charters are springing up at an incredible rate. On the Bandidos official website, there is a display of flags of all the nations with Bandidos Biker Gang chapters. In November, 2015, there were four brand new chapters in Serbia, Sweden, Italy, and Australia. Multiple chapters in Germany, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, and other European countries are well established.
They are considered one of the most famous, or rather infamous, and popular motorcycle clubs, or biker gangs, if you prefer, from the early 60s and have flourished though the decades as a great tradition to those involved. The group wears the “1 percent” patch meaning that while 99 percent of all bikers and biker gangs are gentle and kind they are not to be trifled with. In fact some Bandidos wear the “no mercy” patch as well.
NBC News reported today that among the arrested were Jeffrey Fay Pike, president of the main headquarters, John Xavier Portillo, his vice president, and Justin Cole Forster, who was described as an enforcer. These three men are the main leaders of the entire worldwide Bandidos organization. These biker gang arrests could lead to life in prison for the three. The arrests will really hurt the Bandidos organization, according to U.S. Attorney Richard Durban, Jr.
“Of course, the defendants will have their day in court, but today’s arrests have stuck a significant blow to the Bandidos’ criminal enterprise.”
ABC News reports the biker gang arrests are founded in a 23-page indictment of the Texas chapter of Bandidos. Although the Bandidos is a worldwide motorcycle club, Texas remains the club’s headquarters, and thus the president of the main Texas chapter is, in effect, the president of all Bandidos.
The biker gang war with other motorcycle clubs gained the attention of Federal agents. There was a major clash that left nine people dead in Waco, Texas, and a bar room shooting in Ft. Worth in December, 2014.
The Bandidos are charged with racketeering, trafficking in methamphetamines, and various weapons charges due to their stockpiling of guns and ammunition. There is also the likelyhood that they will be charged with at least one murder.
The worldwide organization may suffer some confusion in the coming days, but they will likely regroup and elect a new president eventually, if their current president is convicted. Sixty-plus years of tradition isn’t likely to die, but these biker gang arrests may lead to more violence and chaos in the other chapters of the organization, or lead to more arrests.
[image via AP/Jerry Larson]