Monday’s testimony dealt largely with other purported incidents involving Cossacks, who lost the most bikers in Waco, and the Bandidos, who lost a member in that fight that also involved police shooting at the bikers at the Twin Peaks restaurant.
Prosecutors largely tip-toed around details of the Waco confrontation because neither Jeffrey Fay Pike, then the Bandidos’ national president, nor John Xavier Portillo, the club’s former vice president, are charged in connection with that. But the pair is on trial over allegations that they directed the Bandidos’ criminal enterprise, including ordering or sanctioning threats, extortion or violence against rivals.
FBI agent Eleazar Vasquez testified that his agency and several others flooded Odessa on April 11, 2015, after “we had received an intelligence report that the Bandidos were coming to Odessa to attack the Cossacks.”
“We...met with two high-ranking officials of the Cossacks and strongly suggested they not be in the area,” Vasquez said.
The information was based in part on recordings in which Portillo was heard saying he was dispatching Bandidos to Odessa as a show of force against the Cossacks, according to federal prosecutors.
Vasquez said as many as 60 law officers showed up and remained outside or near The Last Few bar in Odessa, where dozens of Bandidos or their support club members had assembled. Also testifying Friday was Edward “Tiger” Treviño, a former member of the Bandidos’ Hill Country chapter, who said that during a meeting in March 2015, his chapter president informed members that Portillo “wanted us to go show to Odessa to show force to the Cossacks.”
Treviño said he understood that the force to be used “could be anything from a fight to murder.”
Ultimately, no confrontation ensued because no Cossacks were around.
Days after Waco, Treviño testified, he attended a Bandidos motorcycle rally, during Memorial Day weekend in Gulfport, Mississippi, where Portillo himself addressed Bandidos members in attendance.
“He was saying, ‘I told Jeff (Pike) to turn the other cheek from what I’m about to do,’” Treviño said.
“We’re going to war.”
FBI special agent Jeff Killian also testified about an incident in July 2015, in which investigators heard Bandidos on intercepted phone calls talking about a member of the Cossacks trying to set up shop in Buda, south of Austin. The calls suggested the Bandidos planned to intimidate or use violence against the Cossack member, according to Killian.
“I just don’t think we can pull it off without getting caught,” Portillo is heard saying on one recording.
Texas Department of Public Safety officer Joel Machost testified that investigators eventually found the Cossack to warn him, and that the man told police that he had given up his vest and resigned from the club.
The government’s final witness Friday, Nena Jackson of Bridgeport, near Fort Worth, testified about an incident in which she and her husband, David Jackson, and other Cossacks were jumped by men — some of them wearing red — outside Shorty’s bar in Port Aransas while they were all on vacation there in August 2015. At least three of the Cossacks sustained bruises, cuts and other injuries.
She said the fight began when “some guy” demanded that one of the men take off his Cossacks T-shirt. When the Cossack asked why, the assailant responded: “It’s for the ones we lost in Waco,” Nena Jackson testified.
But under cross-examination, attorneys for Portillo and Pike tried to show jurors that investigators misconstrued what is said on the recordings. And, they argued no one was arrested in the Port Aransas because no one could be identified.
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