The unsealing yesterday of a racketeering indictment against three national officers of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club was a desperate and cynical attempt to control public perception of what happened last May 17 in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco – and why it happened and how. The indictment should be seen as a desperate attempt to continue a massive coverup that has been doomed from the start.
It is impossible to completely obscure what has been going on in Waco for the last seven months because the case is so large. It is as big as a ship so it has more leaks than the Titanic. What federal officials appear to intend to do is cover the truth with a blanket until the public no longer cares.
The irrefutable fact is, the confrontation between Bandidos and Cossacks was contrived by multiple federal police forces to obtain predicate racketeering acts for a long-sought indictment of the Bandits. The skein of investigations that preceded the Twin Peaks massacre was not simply something called “Operation Texas Rocker.” There were, in fact, at least three, intertwined , federal investigations going back 34 months.
There is no polite way to put it. Yesterday’s press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas is propaganda intended to take the heat off McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna. Reyna didn’t create this mess. He is just the guy who was left holding the bag.
Nine people died, 20 were wounded and 186 were arrested as a result of an incredibly botched federal investigation. And after 34 months, yesterday’s nine count indictment against Bandidos president Jeffrey Fay Pike, vice president John Xavier Portillo and sergeant at arms Justin Cole Forster turns out to be the best the Department of Justice can do.
The Department of Justice press release brags:
“‘This joint investigation by the DEA, the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office has led to the charging and arrest of the highest ranking leadership of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization. Of course, the defendants will have their day in court, but today’s arrests have struck a significant blow to the Bandidos’ criminal enterprise,’ stated United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr.
“‘Operation Texas Rocker has inflicted a debilitating blow to the leadership hierarchy and violent perpetrators of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,’ said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Houston Field Division. ‘This 23-month operation highlights a deliberate and strategic effort to cut off and shut down the supply of methamphetamine trafficked by the Bandidos as well as other related criminal activity.’
“‘These indictments and arrests are the result of the ongoing partnership and collaboration between the FBI, DEA and DPS to neutralize one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in Texas,’ said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs. ‘This effort not only exemplifies our commitment to prevent gang violence and criminal activity from poisoning our communities, but it also sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue and prosecute the leaders and members of these violent criminal enterprises.’”
Truth And Lies
The announcement follows seven months during which most of the world’s press has reported that what happened last May was that Bandidos attacked Cossacks and the Twin Peaks restaurant, somehow, was responsible.
One of the truths hidden among the lies in the release is: ‘This 23-month operation highlights a deliberate and strategic effort to cut off and shut down the supply of methamphetamine” in Texas.
The fact is that there were two, simultaneous and intertwined investigations of the meth business in Texas. In addition to the investigation announced yesterday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives began an investigation in North Texas in September 2014. The liaison between the two investigations was the Texas Department of Public Safety. The investigations relied upon the involvement of numerous local police departments to conceal its broad and sweeping nature. The investigations targeted three so called “gangs” including the Bandidos and Cossacks.
Yesterday, television station KCEN declared that yesterday’s indictment “bolster case against bikers at Twin Peaks.”
The station’s report quotes “legal expert Liz Mitchell, a former prosecutor in Dallas County,” who said “the federal arrests strengthen the state’s case against the more than 100 bikers indicted in Waco in November for the May shooting.”
“It just kind of takes away, chisels away at the defense that this was just happenstance, that these people just happened to be there, drinking cold beer, and things got out of hand,” Mitchell told KCEN. “To see these federal charges come down, they really do show that there is evidence that there was a lot at work, and the wheels really were turning leading up to May 17th.”
Mitchell was right. Wheels were turning. They were turning in what appears to be the worst example of federal police excess since Operation Fast and Furious.