May 18, 2018

Verdict reached in racketeering trial of top ex-Bandidos leaders

On the three-year anniversary of Texas’ deadliest biker shootout, jurors in San Antonio found the two top former Bandidos leaders guilty of all charges they faced in a racketeering indictment.

After two days of deliberations, the eight men, four women jury returned a unanimous verdict against former Bandidos national president Jeffrey Fay Pike, 62, of Conroe, and ex-vice president John Xavier Portillo, 58, of San Antonio, on all counts each faced in a 13-count indictment.

The crimes include racketeering conspiracy, murder, extortion and drug dealing (or aiding and abetting the crimes). Some involved the killings of rival bikers by other Bandidos members.

Pike and Portillo were arrested in separate raids on Jan. 6, 2016, over allegations that they oversaw years of mayhem by members of the biker club that once reached overseas.

The pair are charged in an indictment that was modified at least four times and contains 13 counts, though none of the charges were in relation to the May 17, 2015, shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco involving Bandidos, members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and police. That incident resulted in nine bikers being killed, 20 being injured and nearly 200 being arrested on state charges that later crumbled under the direction of the state prosecutor, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna.

The San Antonio case did not involve Reyna’s office, but was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Antonio and was part of an investigation that had already been ongoing before the Twin Peaks shootout. In a trial lasting nearly three months in federal court in San Antonio, the two leaders challenged the government’s contention that they were the crime bosses of what the feds called “the mafia on two wheels.”

Pike was national president of the Bandidos from mid-2005 until he stepped down in January 2016 after his arrest, and has been out on bond ever since. Pike picked Portillo as his national vice president in 2013, and he had been in that position until he was arrested. Portillo was denied bond and has been in jail since his arrest.

The judge ordered Pike into custody after the verdict, and set his sentencing for October. The judge set sentencing for Portillo in September.


USA - BN.

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