Texas

Ex-Bandidos biker gang leaders found guilty in Austin murder

SAN ANTONIO (AP/KXAN) — Two former leaders of the notorious Bandidos biker gang have been found guilty by a federal jury in Texas of conspiracy to commit murder and several other charges.

The jury in San Antonio reached its verdict Thursday against 62-year-old Jeffrey Fay Pike of Conroe and 58-year-old John Xavier Portillo of San Antonio.

Pike was the national president of the gang from 2005 to January 2016, when he was arrested on racketeering charges that also included conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon. Portillo was the national vice president.

Authorities say in 2006, Pike and Portillo ordered other Bandidos members to murder Anthony Benesh.

At the time, Benesh was attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hell's Angels Outlaw Motorcycle organization in Austin even though the Bandidos members warned him not to.

Federal authorities say several Bandidos members murdered Benesh on March 18, 2006, outside an Austin restaurant to "protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandidos enterprise." 

The verdict comes on the three-year anniversary of the shooting at a Waco restaurant involving the Bandidos and a rival gang, the Cossacks, that left nine dead and 20 injured.

The federal investigation of Pike and Portillo began prior to the shootout.


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