Confessing To Murder

September 23, 2017

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Confessing To Murder

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas issued a fascinating press release yesterday titled, “Two Bandidos Plead Guilty to Federal Charges in Connection with the Murder of Hells Angel Anthony Benesh in 2006.”

Who issues a press release on Friday afternoon? Why?


The “news” in the release is that “two high-ranking leaders of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization (OMO) pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with the murder of Hells Angel Anthony Benesh in 2006 announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy, Houston Division; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw; Austin Police Chief Brian Manley; and, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.”

The actual names of the confessed murderers appear after the names of the San Antonio police chief and a judge.


“Appearing before United States District Judge Henry J. Bemporad, 47–year-old Bandidos National Sergeant at Arms Johnny Romo (aka ‘Downtown Johnny’) of San Antonio and 45-year-old Bandidos San Antonio Centro Chapter member Robert Romo of San Antonio pleaded guilty to one count of Murder in Aid of Racketeering and one count of Aiding and Abetting Using and Discharging a Firearm During and In Relation to a Crime of Violence, specifically Murder.”

The next paragraph begins with the weasel words “court records allege.”

“Court records allege that Benesh was attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hell’s Angels OMO in Austin, Texas in 2006. Members of the Bandidos OMO warned Benesh to cease his activities and recruitment, which Benesh ignored. Johnny Romo, Robert Romo and others then murdered Benesh on March 18, 2006, outside an Austin restaurant to protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandidos enterprise.”


The alleged motive for the murder, “to protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandidos enterprise,” is the same motive state prosecutors will allege in the upcoming trial of Christopher Jacob Carrizal in Waco next month. Could there be a connection?

Waco isn’t mentioned once in the release, even though Downtown Johnny Romo was arrested there last March when he was identified as the “Bandidos National Sergeant at Arms.” The allegation that Benesh was trying to start a Hells Angels charter in Austin is astonishing. It is not certain that Benesh even was a Hells Angel. Police have never explained how Benesh got to Austin. Was he on work release? Did he ride his motorcycle there? Did he parachute in? Did George Christie send him on a secret mission?

“Because of their guilty pleas, the defendants face life in federal prison. Johnny Romo and Robert Romo remain in federal custody. Sentencings are scheduled for May 14, 2018, and May 21, 2018, respectively, before Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra in San Antonio.”

Breaking! Flash! Exclusive! Confessed murderer stays locked up!

If they really face life in prison, why would these men confess? These cases usually go on for years. Why did they confess to murder after only six months? What was the evidence against them?


The press release doesn’t mention any of that. Instead it concludes:

“The FBI, DEA and Texas DPS together with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Austin Police Department, New Braunfels Police Department, Seguin Police Department, San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, Atascosa County Sheriff’s Department, and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office are conducting this ongoing investigation.”

Not a mention of Waco. As far as the Department of Justice is concerned, Waco is just another invisible elephant.


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14 Responses to “Confessing To Murder”

  1. rollinnorth Says:

    Timing is everything.

    “Officials Delight in Confounding Reporters with the Infamous ‘Friday Night Dump’
    By Garry Rayno, Distant Dome October 1, 2017

    For people in the news business, Friday afternoons are both rewarding — you are about to leave for two days of rest — and anxiety ridden with one last look at the email.

    Beware the Friday afternoon news dump, the favored method of burying bad news.

    Politicians have used the Friday news dump for many, many years, but they are not alone.

    If publicly traded companies have bad news they are required to share with stockholders they wait until the stock markets close Friday afternoon and then release the troubling news as Moody did in announcing it would pay a $864 million fine for its role in the financial crisis that nearly crippled the world’s financial system a decade ago.

    If a hospital has a problem with patient infection rates or a school has a sexual abuse scandal, the preferred day to release the information is Friday when it will have the least impact and hopefully is buried after one news cycle.

    Why? Because most people do not plug in over the weekend having other things to do like visit friends, go out for lunch or dinner, or a concert or a play, or watch the Red Sox finally clinch the eastern division American League title.”


  2. Hangaround Says:

    @ GMI

    Yeah I just read that. When even the Austin newspapers dont think the Bandidos did it you gotta wonder…

  3. Ok Says:

    Just a bunch of gays if you want to be 81 just open your own McDonald’s it’s a lot safer and profitable franchise

  4. GMI Says:

    For anyone who is interested, a long and detailed history of this case:

    No affiliation or endorsement.

  5. Ed Says:

    Oh yea, they will smoke your ass in Texas.

  6. Ed Says:

    He was a dude that bought a new bike, he made a home made 81 patch wanting to be an outlaw, he rode around acting out. He was harmless and not even a pest to these morons. They shot him with a rifle from an overpass when he came out of an eatery with his little daughter. Wonder what they gave up for the plea deal they got. They deserve what they get. Fuck ’em,

  7. Hangaround Says:

    I know there is no statute of limitations on murder but isn’t the crime of ” Aiding and Abetting Using and Discharging a Firearm During and In Relation to a Crime of Violence, specifically Murder” to old to be charged with?

  8. Not Surprised Says:

    He wore a home made patch. Few years back some guy in FL bought up suppory gear online and claimed he was starting assn 81 chapter too. You get this from time to time.

  9. Freebird Says:

    If that many agencies can work together I will eat your shorts! Like my old man used to say all the time. Name me one Govt agency that does its job. Still working on the answer 35 years later!

  10. john lammons Says:

    this is what we get for letting sub par men in our club.

  11. Paladin Says:

    @ Curbside,

    I think the following may have had something to do with the expedient guilty pleas.

    18 U.S. Code § 1959 – Violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity.

    (a) Whoever, as consideration for the receipt of, or as consideration for a promise or agreement to pay, anything of pecuniary value from an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity, or for the purpose of gaining entrance to or maintaining or increasing position in an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity, murders, kidnaps, maims, assaults with a dangerous weapon, commits assault resulting in serious bodily injury upon, or threatens to commit a crime of violence against any individual in violation of the laws of any State or the United States, or attempts or conspires so to do, shall be punished—

    (1) for murder, by death or life imprisonment, or a fine under this title, or both; and for kidnapping, by imprisonment for any term of years or for life, or a fine under this title, or both;

    Long May You Ride,


  12. Curbside Says:

    @Paladin, while the pair can be tried in both state and federal jurisdictions for the same crime (really fucked up, you’d think it’d be “double jeopardy” but the courts allow it), they confessed to federal charges.

    Texas kills murderers like it’s the cool new thing, but we have a special “capital murder” charge. You can’t get the needle for plain old 1st Degree murder, there has to be one or more of 9 specific criteria met…stuff like killing cops, killing kids, killing two or more people in the same instance, etc.

    If memory serves, the victim was shot by a sniper or some such nonsense for supposedly wanting to start up an 81 crew in Bandit country…and nothing about those circumstances warrant the death penalty under TX law. However, they very well may be eligible for capital punishment under the federal murder statute, depending on various “sentencing factors” and whatnot. I’m honestly not that familiar with federal law. I just know our state death penalty statute is very limited, considering how many people the state actually kills.

  13. Iron Rider Says:

    @ Rebel

    You raised a lot of questions in your article that are sure to spark some interesting comments and some of what you wrote definitely is food for thought, for this big press release there sure is more questions then answers and not a lot of facts besides the usual boilerplate musings of someones PR team

    @ Paladin

    Very valid point about the death penalty, another one of these plea’s that leaves one wondering what it is we are not hearing about.

  14. Paladin Says:

    “If they really face life in prison, why would these men confess? These cases usually go on for years. Why did they confess to murder after only six months? What was the evidence against them?”

    Might have something to do with being in Texas and avoiding the death penalty.


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