The Hyper-Secret Bandidos Case

February 19, 2016

All Posts, News

The Hyper-Secret Bandidos Case

Forty-five days after bragging that a racketeering indictment had “struck a significant blow to the Bandidos criminal enterprise” the Department of Justice remains unwilling to give the public a glimpse at any evidence that might substantiate the charges in a 23-page, surplusage filled indictment against Bandidos Motorcycle Club vice president John Xavier Portillo, president Jeffrey Fay Pike and sergeant at arms Justin Cole Forster.

Pike, who was arraigned in Houston is now free on bail. Portillo and Forster, who are defendants one and three in a case formally titled U.S. v. Portillo, are still locked up in San Antonio. Portillo had a bail hearing Tuesday. A federal magistrate judge named Henry Bemporad called him a threat to public safety and refused to allow his release.

The government written headline atop this case is “The Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization declared it was ‘at war’ with the Cossacks Outlaw Motorcycle Organization.” But at the same time, according to the government, the indictment against the three Bandidos is the fruit of a 23-month long investigation by the Houston Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the San Antonio Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Attorney’s Office in San Antonio and the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Operation Texas Rocker

The investigation has been christened “Operation Texas Rocker” because the Department of Justice wants the public and press to perceive the meaning of the case to be a putative dispute between the Bandidos and the Cossacks Motorcycle Club over the Cossacks wearing a Texas bottom rocker on their vests. These operational names are always blatant propaganda. Operation Black Biscuit, a case against the Hells Angels in Arizona, for example was literally coined on the set of the old Fox true crime show America’s Most Wanted. The public and the press are supposed to believe that the dispute over that rocker culminated in the bloody brawl at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco last May 17. And, wouldn’t that be a neat way to stitch up that purse? In fact, the Bandidos as a club had already made the decision that in 2015, when cop clubs, predominantly black clubs and aspirational clubs like the Iron Order give themselves permission to wear a Texas bottom rocker, the issue of bottom rockers is no longer “worth going to jail for 30 years.” The times, believe it or not, are changing.

Although the narrative of the indictment and the press release that accompanied it suggests the investigation was prompted by concerns about public safety that was somehow jeopardized by tensions between the Cossacks and the Bandidos, the indictment doesn’t mention the Twin Peaks Massacre once. Police have said multiple times that they were at the Twin Peaks that day to “gather intelligence.” The Texas DPS installed a “covert camera” at seven that morning to “gather intelligence.” Waco police spokesman W. Patrick Swanton bragged endlessly to the press about the abundance of police “intelligence.”

Actually, the intended intelligence gathering at the Twin Peaks was part of a much broader attempt to gather intelligence about methamphetamine distribution in Texas. Investigating agencies included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Homeland Security and that broad investigation focused on the Aryan Circle and the Cossacks at least as much as the Bandidos.

“Operation Texas Rocker has inflicted a debilitating blow to the leadership hierarchy and violent perpetrators of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration-Houston Field Division said when the indictment was announced. “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.”

The cluster of interrelated investigations that eventually was named Operation Texas Rocker always had at least two goals. One was to map the meth trade in the state and the other was to find an excuse to lock up the Bandidos leadership – even if that meant tolerating or even participating in criminal activity by members of the Aryan Circle and the Cossacks. Of the two goals, locking up the Bandits was by far the most appealling and the most likely to result in big, black, sexy headlines. Congress, who funds this neverending clown circus, loves big, black, sexy headlines.

Secret Justice

Almost all of the case against Portillo, Pike and Forster remains sealed from public view. The docket for the last month includes the filings:

SEALED MOTION for Protective Order by USA as to John Xavier Portillo, Jeffrey Fay Pike, Justin Cole Forster. THIS DOCUMENT HAS BEEN SEALED PURSUANT TO AUSA REQUEST.

Text Order REFERRING Motion for Protective Order as to John Xavier Portillo, Jeffrey Fay Pike, Justin Cole Forster to the U.S. Magistrate Court for review and consideration. This is a text−only entry generated by the court. There is no document associated with this entry.

Sealed Order. Signed by Judge John W. Primomo.

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge David A. Ezra: Sealed

Sealed Order. Signed by Judge David A. Ezra.


Sealed Order. Signed by Judge David A. Ezra..

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge David A. Ezra: Sealed Proceeding held on 2/12/2016.

Sealed Order. Signed by Judge David A. Ezra. (tr1) (Entered: 02/12/2016)

Sealed Transcript filed (This transcript is not available electronically.)

Snitch Safety

Generally, government prosecutors request portions of federal cases against motorcycle clubs be sealed in order to protect snitches from retaliation by the savage biker hordes. Retaliation from the Bandidos was a recurring theme in Swanton’s press conferences last spring. “Intelligence” indicated the Bandidos were on their way to Waco to break their club brothers out of the hoosegow – like “The Brotherhood” in the 1991 Brian Bosworth classic Stone Cold. At one point, Swanton actually explained the presence of Swat teams on Waco overpasses as the police “taking the high ground.” Swanton told reporters they had placed themselves in harm’s way by entering the parking lot of the Central Texas Marketplace. Reporters, in turn, stuck out their chests and said whatever Swanton told them to say.

At the time, Harold Pollack who is co-director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab said about Waco, “There is something very 1971 Rolling Stone about this scene. I couldn’t quite believe it when I read this news.” Pollack was one of the world’s few unbelievers. Most of the world’s reporters swallowed this nonsense whole. It might modestly be proposed that it might be time to stop giving police the benefit of the doubt, like the villagers in Aesop’s tale about that little boy who kept yelling “Wolf” eventually stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe the police, like that little boy, are psychopathic liars who deserve to be eaten by wolves.

No one should believe anything about the Bandidos case. Circumstances strongly suggest that the public is being kept in the dark for political reasons rather than to keep undercover agents, informants and sources of information safe from retaliation.

For one thing, in the current millennium, outlaw motorcycle clubs simply do not retaliate against sworn and deputized police because to do so would be stupid. In the last five years multiple sworn and unsworn police provocateurs and informants including Jay Dobyns, Darrin Kozlowski, Charles Falco née Ashley Charles Wyatt, George Rowe, James Blankenship, Alex Caine and George Christie have betrayed members of major motorcycle clubs with impunity. They have all appeared on television multiple times. Kozlowski, Falco and Christie have been dramatized. All except Blankenship have secured lucrative book deals. A few months ago, a former Hells Angel angrily cursed Christie at a restaurant. Executives at the ATF have accused Dobyns of mental illness and of setting his own home on fire to better dramatize himself. But that’s about it.

It just might be time to ask the government what it is hiding and why,

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29 Responses to “The Hyper-Secret Bandidos Case”

  1. Sieg Says:

    Just to clarify the above, this is NOT about the Brand, but about TAB. totally and completely different things.


  2. Griz's Gal Says:

    Here’s something you guys might find interesting if you’re following this thread.

    Aryan Brotherhood in ‘chaos’ after federal takedown
    Feds: Aryans ‘don’t know who to trust’ as some take deals


  3. Texas Guy Says:

    Thanks for all the input. I truly appreciate it. Cathy, I welcome yours and Ol Goat’s 02 cents! I asked for it lol And what Ziocles said made sense. Thanks again!

  4. Ol'Goat Says:

    texas guy:
    probably best to find a single patch design. no one really wants to see an ice cream cone on a 3 piece design…just my 2 cents

  5. Ziocles Says:


    No, it’s not the same as wearing a camo shirt. For the most part everything on a bikers vest is earned, much like service medals, ribbons and rank in the military. It isn’t something that people just like to wear cause it looks cool it’s a history of their achievements that they wear proudly on display.Yeah, colors look cool, but that’s cause they stand for something just like military uniforms and associated ribbons stand for something. People know that only a select few people could ever become patch holders and it’s impressive.

    Will you get hurt for doing this? I doubt it but it should’t take fear of violence for you to be respectful of other peoples cultures.

    Just some random guys $.02 on the subject.

  6. NCRider Says:

    Texas Guy,

    You seem to be genuinely sincere with your question about bottom rockers. Also you certainly must be aware of protocol if you have 1% friends. I hope you do not mind me giving my 2 cents, but alot of blood, sweat and tears have been shed over bottom rockers. Speaking for myself, I would just not go there. In my book, wearing any patch of any kind giving a similarity or an appearance of a bottom rocker would be very disrespectful if it was not earned. Just my opinion.


  7. Texas Guy Says:

    Thanks for the responses. I truly appreciate them.

    Ziocles, I do have some great friends in 1% clubs and have been approached by them. I respect and admire the lifestyle, but at this point in my life I cannot justify joining a 1% club. To answer you question, no I would never wear dress blues if I was not an active duty military person. But I would have no problem wearing a camouflage shirt or pants. I do it all the time when I’m hunting. I would never wear an army uniform that had Army patches on it. But to me this is like visiting a military base with a camo shirt on that says Duck Dynasty. Maybe I’m wrong? That is why I was wanting input. I’m not trying to play 1%er. I just like the look of the 3 piece patch. I actually asked the COC and also the dominant club here in Texas. I was told that “people wear 3-piece patch sets all the time. You can buy patches online for ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘Black Label Society’, etc. If someone walks around wearing something like that, patch holders would probably just snicker and not do or say anything”.

    I have never worn them, and probably won’t. But I guess what I was wondering is as long as the bottom rocker didn’t claim a territory, is it okay. Again, thanks for taking time to respond.

  8. Ziocles Says:

    @ Texas Guy

    That is in poor taste. If you don’t want to actually be in a club then why would you want to dress like you are? Would you wear Dress Blues having had never been in the Marine Corps?

    If you have friends involved why not hang around and see if its for you? If the 1% life is not for you there are MANY great support clubs in Texas.

  9. PJ Says:

    Texas Guy, I’m not in a club but will tell you what advice I received:

    Military stuff you earned is no problem
    Avoid diamonds or things that look like them
    If you want to use numbers, check. Some numbers mean different things that can get you in trouble
    If you want to use a letter or letters, see above
    Avoid top and bottom rockers if you are not in a club

    Note that this is specific to my area; your experiences may differ.

    Steel, and interestingly enough, it has been ruled that one is allowed to impersonate military, as its free speech (so long as you don’t try to get some kind of monetary benefits or something). Curious why I can’t impersonate a cop then, free speech and all…

    I remember coming off a Destroyer to go work at Bethesda. As I was checking in met another Corpsman with a Surface Warfare device. Thinking, cool, not too many of us get to ships for the opportunity, I asked where they got it. To which I was told USNS Comfort. A fucking hospital ship. I was told it only has two water tight doors, and it’s weapon system consists of one or two 50cals, but I have not verified these facts.

    I was thinking, well, what the fuck is this pin worth now, if you can get one off a hospital ship? I mean no disrespect to patch holders with my story; I just wish more people who come here asking why it means so much, actually had something they earned in life. It’s a slap in the face when someone has something you’ve really put in the effort to earn, handed to them.

  10. Texas Guy Says:

    I have a question about bottom rockers and would like feedback from legitimate bikers. I ride quite a bit but I am not a member of any club. I have good friends that are here in Texas, and I have asked them this question as well. I own a company. It’s a well known company. For arguments sake, I’m gonna say it’s Bobby Joe’s Ice Cream Parlor. So would it be offensive or disrespectful in any way for a weekend biker to wear a 3 piece patch that said Bobby Joe’s on the top rocker and Ice Cream Parlor on the bottom rocker with an ice cream cone in the middle. I know that may be a silly analogy but I’m just curious if that would offend a 1%er

    Thank you

  11. Truebrother Says:

    were any of the officers involved in this investigation and raids conducted on these Bandidos iron order members or any Leo mc ?The defense lawyers need to inquire on this and use it against the government/Leo … I have had this conversation with Bandido John before all the busts and shootings he believed this could help in court cases .
    Respect and the best of luck Jeff,John,Justin and the Bandido Nation .

    Freedom isn’t free….

  12. Sohn Says:

    I’ve always believed that about a third of all police are like Don Quixote and believe the nonsense no matter how bazar and illogical and even feed the flame with their own delusions. Then there is the third that are psychopaths that don’t care about the truth and are willing to progress any lie at any cost as long as they personally profit from it. Then there’s the third that are logical, don’t speak up because they like their jobs but stay away ignoring how asinine it all is.

  13. Steel Says:

    Rebel, excellent reporting as always. Much appreciated.

    @Terra, good post. Someone who wears a patch has earned it through actions and deeds that most people couldn’t handle. Those that just decide to slap one on because they want to are disrespecting a long tradition indeed. To me, it is like wearing military medals one didn’t earn. Good post Terra.



  14. Phuquehed Says:

    Ah yes, the good ol’ Department of Just-a-bunch-of-lying-cowardly-inept-unethical-bastards-who-wouldn’t-know-the-truth-if-it-was-a-shark-taking-a-chunk-out-of-their-fat-useless-asses

  15. Nobody Important Says:

    This kinda brings an interesting question to mind.

    Given that a person can only ride on (at most) a single 6’x10′ patch of dirt, why do we have such a fuss in our world about state rockers?

    Does it matter? and if so, why?

    The continuing violence between the ‘national clubs’ is another thing I’ll never understand. We’ve got governments all over the world trying to -exterminate- us. Why the -fuck- are we dicking around, squabbling among ourselves, and gift-wrapping each other for the fucking feds?

    We need to stop fighting among ourselves.

  16. Terra Says:

    Here in Australia we are suffering the same problems there is nothing wrong in wanting to be in social motorcycle clubs however the idea of wanting to emulate us and play our life on weekends wearing a bottom rocker or back patch that isn’t earned is disrespectful and offensive.Once these issues were dealt with on the spot as they occurred or were discovered and people were re-educated without it leading to interference from law enforcement however mobile phones social media and interferening busy bodies has made it a whole lot harder to enforce respect without jeopardising your freedom and delivering a good sound message. Earn it or learn it

  17. BMW Says:

    Crystal City today… can we hope to read Whacko tomorrow???

    @”T-rex”: Izod you are a real piece of work

  18. Park Says:

    When “they” decide its time for you to go, things like lack of monetary and manpower resources suddenly are not issues. Politicians, prosecutors, cops and the media wipe their asses with Writs of Habeas Corpus and the Bill of Rights and stupid people lap it up, in the name of homeland security or public safety. My grandfather preached to me about the “shoot first then build the case” philosophy of overzealous cops, prosecutors and governors. Here is an example. I dont know what this mayor did but “they” determined it was time for him to go. The Valium in the shirt pocket cracked me up.
    Be Free

  19. stracc Says:

    Thank you for the analysis Rebel. Do you know if the Feds have turned anything over to Broden in the discovery order? I kind of think it is unlikely that they will.

  20. T Hell Says:

    Operation “Bottom Rocker” a cool ring to it, “Fast and Furious” would have sounded tougher I wonder why they didn’t go with that? For those of you in the Fed/LE lunchline be forewarned the Black Widows are still out there and that Cholla is a mean MF


  21. WheresMyBoots Says:

    Rebel wins that one by KO.

    ‘Brian Bosworth classic Stone Cold’ -LOL!

    Keep up the good work Rebel, and all the best with your eye. Be well, and thanks much.
    Respects, and Ride Free,

  22. lofty Says:

    rebel, keep doing what you do. And, from a hell of a lot of us, thankyou. I will click the ads and donate.

  23. stroker Says:

    AMEN, Rebel.

  24. Rebel Says:

    Dear T-Rex

    Gee, Izod. What fucking asshole do I know in Port Richey, Florida? You really are a fucking moron aren’t you? You have no idea what I said or that I was quoting somebody. And you are comparing what? The Cossacks to the Iron Order? Or the Iron Legacy? I kind of think the Cossacks would eat you.

    Hey Izod. You remember that time, after you paid somebody to hack my website, and that fucking punk Gus from the Port Richey chapter was sending out screenshots of what you guys did? You remember that? You remember what you said about me on your fucking forum? I remember, too.

    Don’t come back here.


  25. old & stoned Says:

    we’re in the ‘end times’, like it or not. 3 weeks ago a cdc pig shoots a man dead in public, still no charges, swat kills one of it’s own and holds the biker for murder, and now more of these, “indict, arrest, and in the interest of nat’l security you never get to see what we fucked up” type arraignments designed to squeeze plea deals just to escape further encarceration,

    a snitches ‘safety’ is NOT worth denial of any free man’s due process.
    an ice pick or empty piece of brass maybe,,

  26. NOS4A2 Says:

    What once was sacred. What once was a declaration. What once meant something to be held with pride. Bottom rockers and side rockers are permitted with blessings to any flavor of the month pop up club that comes along.

  27. DiablosBLVD Says:

    “worth going to jail for 30 years” is in quotations. Meaning it is probably a source quote.

  28. T-Rex Says:

    Rebel, are you kidding yourself or trying to kid us when you say,

    Quote, “In fact, the Bandidos as a club had already made the decision that in 2015, when cop clubs, predominantly black clubs and aspirational clubs like the Iron Order give themselves permission to wear a Texas bottom rocker, the issue of bottom rockers is no longer “worth going to jail for 30 years.” The times, believe it or not, are changing.”

    You really don’t feel a state rocker is no longer worth going to jail for 30 years do you? That goes against everything you write about. The Feds discovered an Achilles heal in the 1% world. Rico for any violent enforcement of taking colors and violent confrontations over the state rocker. It worked with Wegers and Milwaukee Jack. Now the question is, will times really change and the patch police realize the 1st Amendment is not a selective Constitutional right as you have so eloquently beat that drum for the past 5 years. I guess we’ll have to watch what you write from here on to see if you truly do believe what you are saying in this article. If you do and you’re shooting straight with us then you’re doing a great service to every 1% club out there who may still have the idea they can control patches, rockers, clubs and the whole motorcycle world with violence and intimidation. The patches are pieces of cloth if a club is not claiming territory. The big clubs know who is claiming territory and who isn’t. Its the support clubs and wannabe’s that cause all the aggravation over state rockers and patches. If they would grow up and either join a 1% club full patch or shut the fuck up then the MC world could move on and look to a better future. Like you said, ” the issue of bottom rockers is no longer “worth going to jail for 30 years.” The times, believe it or not, are changing.” Good reporting and good position Rebel.

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