Bandidos leaders arrested: Digging deeper into detailed indictment
South Texas Bandidos member opens up about specific claim in indictment
SAN ANTONIO – Two of the highest-ranking leaders of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle organization were nabbed in San Antonio and a third was picked up in Houston on Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said the two arrested in San Antonio are John Portillo, 56, the gang's national vice president, and Justin Forster, 31, the national sergeant at arms.
The Bandidos' national president, Jeffrey Pike of Conroe, was arrested in Houston and is also in federal custody.
A 23-page indictment details their alleged involvement in the gang and documents many claims against them, starting around 2012 and 2013. That is when the indictment shows Portillo launched a "war" with the Cossacks biker gang.
Since then, the U.S. Attorney's Office claims there have been years of Bandidos-planned attacks on Cossacks members.
One section of the indictment reads: "On November 2, 2013, approximately 10 Bandidos members confronted members of the Cossacks OMO in Abilene, Texas. After taking the whips off of the parked motorcycles owned by Cossacks OMO members, Bandidos OMO members began assaulting Cossacks OMO members, including stabbing some with knives, resulting in serious injuries."
Another section said: "On March 22, 2015, approximately 20 Bandidos OMO members and their associates confronted Cossacks OMO member at a gas station in West Texas, near Gordon in Palo Pinto County, in furtherance of John Portillo's order to 'stir things up.' The Bandidos OMO members demanded he give them his vest displaying a Texas bottom rocker. After he refused, Bandidos OMO members and associates assaulted him, striking him in the head multiple times with a claw hammer, causing serious injury."
The document lists several places where Bandidos leaders allegedly met to plan these attacks. One of the locations is just south of San Antonio in Natalia.
The indictment said: "August 24, 2015, John Portillo, Justin Forster and other Bandidos members met at Chuy's Bar in Natalia, Texas, a bar owned by the Bandidos Hill County Chapter President, to discuss the presence of Cossacks members in Carrizo Springs and Crystal City and how to respond."
A KSAT crew went to Chuy's Bar to speak with the owner, who said he is a Bandidos member, but that the meeting detailed in the indictment never happened. The owner said many Bandidos, including Portillo and Forster, are at the bar often, since it's a common hangout. He also said Chuy's is a public bar open to everyone, not just Bandidos.
The document goes on to show dates, places and quoted conversations that have led to the many charges Portillo, Forster and Pike now face. If convicted, they face life in prison.
You can read the full indictment below. Click here for a link.
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