Texas Prosecutorial Games

September 19, 2017

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Texas Prosecutorial Games

Earlier today, about an hour after Bandido Motorcycle Club member Christopher Jacob Carrizal was assigned an October 9 trial date in state court in Waco, Texas, Assistant United States Attorney Eric Fuchs told The Associated Press in San Antonio that accused murderers and former Bandidos Johnny “Downtown Johnny” Romo, Robert Romo, James “Kronic” Benavidez and Norberto “Hammer” Serna, Jr. signed plea agreements last Thursday.

In a superseding indictment unsealed last March in the federal racketeering case against former Bandidos president Jeff Pike and former club vice-president John Portillo, all four of the men were accused of discharging a firearm during a murder in aid of racketeering. The victim was Anthony Benesh who was murdered outside an Austin restaurant in March 2006, allegedly for trying to start a chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club there. Johnny and Robert Romo were also accused of murder in aid of racketeering.

The plea deals were entered as a single sealed document on September 14 and remain sealed. All four men were referred by Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra to Magistrate Judge Henry J. Bemporad for arraignment on their new and improved charges last Friday. Yesterday, Bomporad ordered Johnny and Robert Romor to appear in his court this Friday, September 22. Bemporad then ordered Magistrate Judge Elizabeth S. Chestney to approve Benavidez’ plea deal Monday, September 25 and Serna’s deal September 27.

The same day the four plea deals were reached, sentencing for another agreeable Bandido in the case, Frederick Cortez, was reset for next May. Last month, sentencing for former Bandido national sergeant at arms Justin Cole Forster was continued until next March. Forster also made a plea deal.

Boiler Plate

Typically in federal motorcycle club case. Pleaders agree to boiler plate statements contained in their indictments and agree to testify on behalf of authorities.

The current version of the federal Bandidos indictment contains statements like: “The Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Bandidos OMO’) was an ‘outlaw’ motorcycle organization comprised of individual chapters located in various cities in Texas and elsewhere. The Bandidos OMO identifies itself as an outlaw motorcycle organization through the public display of the ‘1%’ symbol. The 1% symbol signifies that the membership of this organization has chosen to be part of the very small fraction of motorcycle-riders who defy legal conventionality and consider themselves ‘outlaws’ or lawbreakers. The Bandidos OMO membership refers to themselves as a 1% club.”

“The Bandidos OMO in the United States is a highly organized criminal organization which adheres to a hierarchical chain of command both nationally and locally. National officers are the most powerful and influential members of the enterprise. National officers comprise the National Chapter and include the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant at Arms and other regional members. In addition to the National Chapter is a Nomad Chapter, which is located throughout the United States. The Nomad Chapter works for the National Chapter and is involved in gathering intelligence for the Bandidos OMO and meeting with the National officers to provide information that relates to the enterprise. Local chapters are divided up according to geographic location. Each local chapter must have at least five members to exist and has to be approved by the National Chapter to be established. The enterprise is operated through a strict chain of command. Each Bandidos OMO Chapter has a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary and/or Treasurer, and a Sergeant at Arms, along with members. Each officer has specific obligations to the enterprise.”

“The National Vice President serves as a point of contact for the other 1% motorcycle gangs to discuss territorial issues. The National Vice President also approves or disapproves the existence of each support club, along with the patches worn by support clubs.Each local Chapter President is responsible for support clubs that affiliate with the Bandidos OMO as well as the American Motorcycle Association clubs operating in the same geographical area. Most support clubs wear a designated reverse-color-scheme patch (yellow letters on a red background) to show their allegiance to the Bandidos OMO. These support clubs are also referred to as “farm clubs” because this is generally the recruiting pool for the Bandidos OMO to pick individuals to prospect and become members of the Bandidos OMO.”

Language like this in plea bargains is usually considered to be hearsay but its admissibility into evidence is also usually at the discretion of the judge presiding over any particular trial. Even though a judge is likely to decide that a canned confession is inadmissible as evidence at a trial, there is nothing to stop the confessor from making an identical confession in his own words.

Witness lists for the Carrizal trial are due Wednesday.

 

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10 Responses to “Texas Prosecutorial Games”

  1. kenny Says:

    Ya know i saw guys take deals!! The other men stood trial. They all walked when the corrupt shit got exposed. Guess what the guys made deals…. they doing the time they agreed to. Even a fish knows if it keeps its mouth shut. It cant be hooked.

  2. Freebird Says:

    Hero

    I am right there with you…. We can only hope its not what our instinct is telling us. I did not even consider the larger picture outside Waco. You ride safe as well!

  3. hero Says:

    @Freebird, thank you for your response. We can wait for the witness list to come out in the first Twin Peaks case, however there are other cases these guys are being charged with in other locations out side of Waco and I’m guessing there will be some testifying there as well. If I’m wrong I will be the first to apologise. The timing doesn’t seem right for it to be a coincidence in my opinion. Time will tell and I’m willing to wait. Ride safe And stay free

  4. Freebird Says:

    Hero

    I had the same reaction first time I read the article. I was like what the fuck? are you fucking kidding me…. Than the better angels in me said are we not judging just a bit fast here. A plea deal in and of itself does not mean they rolled. What I have learned from Rebels pen is there are hidden messages in every story. The challenge is finding them. I look to his last sentence in this story. The witness list!!!

  5. Gandalf Says:

    A Chess player might remember Frankie 5 Angels.

  6. hero Says:

    Looks like one of the Ace’s up the sleeve just got exposed. This is all part of the deck stacking. I figured like everyone else that there had to be some things being held back, I was just hoping it wasn’t going to be a patch holder testifying to keep their “deal”. This has been seen before and it has been an effective strategy for prosecutors Nationwide. I’m surprised there’s not more outrage here that these guys actually took a plea deal with all that is being levied against the Bandidos MC.

  7. Paula Carroll Swann Says:

    Their wives can give them a alibi on that day, it was known that he wasn’t a real HA. His own brother said the Bandido’s didn’t kill my brother, which I believe because of the rules of you never do anything that would cause harm to children. There was no evidence in that case and for someone to make that shot was a well trained sniper, and they didn’t really know where the shot came from. Also the San Antonio people are big fans of the Spurs and they was playing the Rockets at the time….

  8. bcnasty Says:

    You give nothing, they get nothing”
    No truer words have ever been spoken.
    Respects,
    BC

  9. Steel Says:

    Agree with Iron Rider. A plea deal usually comes about with the Feds convincing the lawyers of the defendants they have more than they do and scaring the defendants that long jail time awaits when in reality they have nothing if you’ve given nothing. All a game the Feds play.

    Respects

    Steel

  10. Iron Rider Says:

    Fucking plea deals, the Feds love them because they can seal them and have it seem like they got something but there is always that aura of the big axe to fall. One brother told long long ago “You give nothing, they get nothing” and that has always stuck with me even to this day.

    Fuchs will try and use whoever he can and whatever he can to get Pike and anyone else. Being that Fuchs was forwarding emails to Reyna from Gotro, I would trust Fuchs as much as I would trust a fox to watch the chickens.

    More shady business, I hope Gotro digs up some dirt on Fuchs and Reyna and their little email love exchange, hope there is something in Reyna/Fuch’s little love letter exchange that blows up in their faces.

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