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Monday, September 24, 2018

Former Bandidos MC vice president gets life sentence

San Antonio, Texas (September 24, 2018) BTN — A federal judge has sentenced the former National Vice President of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization to life in prison, the Department of Justice announced Monday.

59-year-old John Xavier Portillo will serve two consecutive life sentences, plus twenty years, for racketeering and drug trafficking charges. Portillo was also ordered to forfeit his motorcycle, three firearms, and $17,827.20 seized from his residence in 2016.

Jurors convicted Portillo and National Bandidos President Jeffrey Fay Pike on 13 charges in May after a nearly three-month trial. Pike faces up to life in prison and is set to be sentenced September 26.

“The sentencing of Bandidos National Vice President Xavier Portillo is one more step in concluding a comprehensive investigation by DEA, FBI and our law enforcement partners into the leadership structure and criminal activities of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” said Will Glaspy, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Houston Division.

“This investigation reflects law enforcement's commitment to make sure communities across Texas are safe and prevent gang members involved in drug distribution and other criminal activity from establishing a foothold in our communities."

News Article written by KHOU11 

Read the full release from the Department of Justice:

Finks MC members charged over road rage incident

Lithgow, NSW (September 24, 2018) BTN — Four members of the Finks MC have been charged by Strike Force Raptor over an alleged road rage incident in the Blue Mountains.

Just before 3.30pm on Saturday, June 9, a group of Finks MC members and associates were travelling city bound on motorcycles and in cars on the Great Western Highway, Blaxland, when they allegedly became involved in an altercation with the occupants of a white BMW at traffic lights at Layton Avenue.

Confiscated vest of a Finks MC Member

A short time later, officers from Blue Mountains Police Area Command drove across the incident and spoke to those who were on scene, however, many of the riders had already left the scene. Police were told the BMW and one of the bikes collided, causing the rider to come off the bike. He was not injured.

Members of the group then allegedly hit and kicked the BMW while the occupants remained inside.
Officers from the Criminal Groups Squad’s Strike Force Raptor also attended the scene and assisted with speaking to the remaining members of the group before commencing an investigation.

During the searches, police seized Finks MC colours and paraphernalia, cannabis, and other items relevant to the investigation.

Three Finks MC members – aged 22, 27, and 47 – were arrested during the operation and taken to Riverstone Police Station.

An unidentified Finks MC member is arrested
The 27-year-old man was charged with affray and destroy/damage property intend criminal activity of group.

He appeared at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday, September 22.

The 22-year-old man was charged with affray, knowingly participate in criminal group assist crime, and possess prohibited drug.

The 47-year-old man was charged with affray, destroy/damage property intend criminal activity of group, and possess prohibited drug.
They were granted strict conditional bail and are due to appear at Mt Druitt Local Court on Wednesday, October 10.

A fifth search warrant was executed at a home at Dapto, where investigators arrested a 20-year-old man.

He was taken to Lake Illawarra Police Station and charged with destroy/damage property intend criminal activity of group and two counts of possess prohibited drug.

The man, who is a Finks MC prospect, was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday, October 17.

Inquiries are continuing and further arrests are expected.

Strike Force Raptor was established in 2009 and conducts proactive investigations and intelligence-based, high-impact policing operations to prevent and disrupt conflicts, and dismantle any network engaged in serious organised criminal activity.

Bandidos MC Leader could get life in prison

San Antonio, Texas (September 24, 2018) BTN — The Bandidos Motorcycle Club’s former second in command, a San Antonio man who directed the biker group’s violent racketeering enterprise, including drug dealing, extortion, beatings and murder, is expected to be sentenced Monday to life in prison.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra is scheduled to sentence John Xavier Portillo, the national vice president of the Bandidos, at a morning hearing. Portillo, 58, served as second in command for national president Jeffrey Fay Pike, 62, of Conroe, who led the club for more than a decade.

Bandidos Motorcycle Club Colors

Both were convicted after a three-month federal trial in San Antonio of ordering and sanctioning a racketeering conspiracy that aimed at keeping the biker club's stronghold on its home turf of Texas. The trial showed that the Bandidos, once the second-largest biker club in the world behind the Hell’s Angels, split off from its international chapters in Europe and Australia because of turmoil in the ranks.

By the time Pike became president in 2005, law officers estimated the Bandidos had 5,000 members in 210 chapters, located in 22 countries. But by 2016 — six years after Pike first sought to break away from most of the international chapters — the Bandidos had dropped to 100-plus chapters and more than 1,000 members mostly in the United States and parts of Latin America.

Despite its smaller numbers, the Bandidos still exerted clout. Texas’ deadliest biker shootout occurred while Portillo and Pike were at the helm. Neither Pike nor Portillo were at the May 17, 2015, shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco that involved other Bandidos, members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, some of their support clubs, and police. That incident resulted in nine bikers being killed, 20 injured and nearly 200 being arrested on state charges of engaging in organized crime in prosecutions that have yet to result in any convictions.

None of the charges against Pike and Portillo were for the Twin Peaks shootout, and during the federal trial, the two Bandidos leaders challenged the government’s contention that they were the bosses of what the feds called “the mafia on two wheels.” The pair denied ordering, authorizing or sanctioning the criminal activity of their fellow Bandidos, and Pike claimed local Bandidos chapters were autonomous and didn’t act on orders of national leaders.

But federal witnesses that included ex-Bandidos and wiretaps of Portillo’s phone, along with body-wire recordings worn by cooperating witnesses, helped sway jurors to agree with prosecutors.

The federal jury convicted Pike and Portillo of conspiracy to murder and assault of members and associates of the Cossacks. Government witnesses testified that Portillo, with Pike’s approval, declared in 2013 or 2014 — before the Waco incident — that the Bandidos were “at war” with the Cossacks. According to that testimony, a number of violent acts — before and after the Waco gunfight — were committed by Bandidos around Texas in furtherance of this “war,” including in Fort Worth, Gordon, Odessa, Port Aransas and Crystal City.

John Xavier Portillo, former national vice president of the Bandidos, arrives at the San Antonio federal courthouse for the first day of his racketeering trial on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018.

Among the murders the jury heard about were that of Geoffrey Brady, a supporter of the Cossacks shot by Bandidos members in December 2014 at a Fort Worth bar; street gang member Robert Lara, who was shot by Bandidos in Atascosa County on Jan. 31, 2002; and Anthony Benesh, a purported Hell’s Angels member who was shot outside an Austin restaurant by other Bandidos on March 18, 2006.

The clashes cited in the federal trial were over the Cossacks wearing patches on their biker vests that said “Texas,” which is considered the territory, and home base, of the Bandidos. Defense evidence showed Pike, at one point, had approved of Cossacks wearing the Texas “bottom rocker,” or patch, but at least one government witness testified that relations soured: Some Bandidos were angry that permission was granted for Cossacks to wear the patch, and because the Cossacks’ Texas patch was larger than the one Bandidos wear.

Pike was national president of the Bandidos from mid-2005 until he stepped down in January 2016 after his arrest. Pike picked Portillo as his national vice president in 2013. Portillo had been in that position until he was arrested, also in January 2016.

Pike is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Ezra on Wednesday, and also faces life in prison. Both men are appealing.

Written by: Guillermo Contreras

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Police: Suspected Mongols MC member fights in bar

Fort Worth, Texas (September 23, 2018) BTN — A fight erupted early Sunday at a hotel bar involving a suspected Mongols MC member that drew the attention of 10 patrol cars, but no serious injuries were reported, police said.

In addition, police said Sunday no arrests were made.

Police have been on high alert this weekend after agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives alerted local authorities the motorcycle club had a rally planned in the city.

The Mongols have been called the “most violent and dangerous” outlaw motorcycle club in the nation, according to the Department of Justice website.

On Friday and Saturday, local police beefed up their presence in the Fort Worth Stockyards after ATF warned the Mongols were planing a rally there.

Patrol officers responded to the fight call shortly after 1:30 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel Fort Worth-Fossil Creek, 2540 Meacham Blvd.

Witnesses told police a man began a verbal argument with a man wearing biker attire.

“They began to have a physical altercation,” said Officer Tracy Cater in a Sunday email.

Police did not provide any more details on the altercation, but a man and a woman suffered minor injuries, police said.

Detectives continued on Sunday to investigate the fight.

Hours before the fight, the Star-Telegram spoke to four Mongols members outside White Elephant bar in the Fort Worth Stockyards and they said all the warnings were all misconceptions.

Police had not reported any other major incidents with the Mongols.

Story By: Domingo Ramirez Jr.