SAN ANTONIO - A verdict was reached Thursday in the racketeering and drug trafficking trial of two former high-ranking leaders of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization.
After two days of deliberations, a San Antonio jury found ex-Bandidos leaders Jeffrey Fay Pike and John Xavier Portillo guilty of all charges they faced.
Pike, 62, was the former president of the motorcycle organization while Portillo, 58, was the ex-vice president. The men were arrested during separate raids on Jan. 6, 2016.
They faced several charges related to racketeering, drug dealing, extortion and multiple murders.
Evidence during trial revealed that in 2006, Pike and Portillo ordered other Bandidos members to murder Anthony Benesh because he was attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hell’s Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Organization in Austin.
Jurors also found that Portillo and others killed Robert Lara in January 2002 in Atascosa County as payback for killing Bandidos member Javier Negrete outside a San Antonio bar in 2001.
Pike, Portillo and others also conspired to murder and assault members and associates of the Cossacks Outlaw Motorcycle Organization, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
"It wasn't just these two guys that went to trial. I think we ended up charging in the teens a number of Bandidos people, many in leadership positions throughout San Antonio and else where," said assistant U.S. attorney Eric Fuchs.
Testimony revealed that both men and other Bandidos members were engaged in trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine, and had an agreement with the Texas Mexican Mafia to traffic narcotics.
Federal prosecutors said Portillo's sentencing will be on Sept. 24 and Pike's sentencing on Oct.1.
"No one is above the law,no matter how much insulation you think you may have from these criminal and violent acts that were going to do the hard work, collect the evidence," said FBI Special Agent Michelle Lee.
“I am immensely proud of our prosecution team and our law-enforcement partners for this successful prosecution,” stated U.S. Attorney John F. Bash. “What this verdict shows more than anything is that the Department of Justice is fully capable of stripping away a veneer of legitimate activity to expose and punish underlying criminal conduct. Others should take note.”
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