3 highest-ranking Bandidos leaders arrested

2 suspects are from San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – Three highest-ranking leaders of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization were arrested Wednesday on federal charges.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, national president Jeffrey Fay Pike, 60, of Conroe, national vice president John Xavier Portillo, 56, of San Antonio and national sergeant at arms Justin Cole Forster, 31, of San Antonio were indicted on federal racketeering and drug distribution charges.

The suspects are accused of directing, sanctioning, approving and permitting other members of the organization to carry out racketeering acts including murder, attempted murder, assault, intimidation, extortion and drug trafficking to protect and enhance the organization’s power, territory, reputation and profits.

"Today's arrests have struck a significant blow to the Bandidos' criminal enterprise,” U.S. Attorney Richard L. Durbin  Jr. for the Western District of Texas said.

After the arrests, the FBI and DEA agents lined the streets surrounding a home on Paula Drive and Jupe Drive on the city’s Southeast Side. It’s near Rigsby Avenue and W.W. White Road. Neighbors said the home belonged to John Portillo, but that they believe they’d seen Forster there as well. Agents scoured the house for hours on Wednesday, often walking out with bags of evidence.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2013, the Bandidos declared it was "at war" with the Cossacks OMO. The indictment specifically alleges a number of violent acts committed by Bandidos members in
furtherance of the “war.” The indictment also alleges that in 2014, Portillo received methamphetamine from Colorado-area Bandidos members and that Forster was selling ounce quantities of methamphetamine.

Pike is also charged with one count of interference with commerce by extortion.

Portillo is also charged with two substantive VICAR counts, plus one count each of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and interference with commerce by extortion.

Forster is also charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and one count of interference with commerce by extortion.

To read the federal indictment, click here.

About the Authors:

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

Courtney Friedman is a KSAT anchor and reporter. She has an ongoing series called Loving in Fear, confronting Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She's also covered Hurricane Harvey, the shootings in Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, and tornadoes throughout Texas. She’s a California native and proud Longhorn who loves calling SA home.