Bandidos Trial Continues

March 2, 2018

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Bandidos Trial Continues

The trial of two Bandidos Motorcycle Club officers, Jeffrey Pike and John Portillo, continues today in the journalistic equivalent of a rendition dungeon in Uzbekistan.

Apparently, in federal court in San Antonio “Minute Entries for proceedings held before Judge Henry J. Bemporad…are not available electronically.” So there is no written, public record of what is actually going on. That is unusual. Depending on the court, minute entries for proceedings may be bare boned or slightly detailed but there is usually some written record of when court convened, who testified and when court recessed. In the Bandidos trial, all of this a state secret – supposedly to protect the various snitches, confessed murderers and crank fiends who will present their insiders’ stories of the Bandidos criminal enterprise. Also, the attorneys appear to be gagged.

The world’s eyes and ears into the trial is Guillermo Contreras of the San Antonio Express-News. He reports that so far prosecutors have called two witnesses to the defendants criminality. One was FBI Agent Scott Schuster who spoke exactly the words you would expect. The other witness was former national sergeant at arms Justin Cole Forster. Forster was a methamphetamine abuser who seems to have been the target of a federal sting. The club was supportive of Forster until members discovered he was guilty. He was expelled from the club before he turned state’s evidence.

Hiss Hiss Rattle Rattle

Yesterday, according to Contreras, although he hasn’t been a Bandido for almost two years, Forster testified “We’re a criminal organization…. I mean we’re outlaws.”

American Bandidos underwent a period of friction as a result of the so-called Shedden Massacre in Ontario in April 2006. The extent to which Bandidos in Australia, Europe or the United States were responsible for a flaky chapter in Ontario that wound up killing eight of its own members is debatable. But it was a contributing factor to a global split and Forster had a story about that, too. Forster told jurors that when the club split like brothers into a European-Australian sibling and an American one, he helped to beat and expel members who opposed the split. Later, Forster alleged, the club celebrated the assaults with a tee shirt.

In a nutshell, the case against Pike and Portillo – to liberally quote the Dutch Bandidos case last year – is that the culture of the Bandidos “is focused on committing serious crimes, particularly drug offenses, weapon offenses, and extortion, facilitating and encouraging these crimes.” This “culture” effects the rights and freedoms of its own members and others and infringes on public order and maybe, just maybe, the very concept of civilization itself.

Pike and Portillo’s lawyers will argue, as would lawyers for any other motorcycle club, that the crimes committed by their members are not part of club culture but like Forster’s drug abuse and drug dealing, just the actions of individual members.

Lara Murder

In order to demonstrate that the Bandidos, as personified by Portillo and Pike, are a public menace, the government has implicated the men in two murders: The alleged revenge murder of Robert Lara in 2002; and the 2006 murder of Anthony Benesh because he “attempted to start a Texas Chapter of the Hell’s (sic) Angels OMO in Austin, Texas.”

All the charges connected to those two murders are almost pathetically contrived. For one thing, an out bad Bandido named Richard Steven Merla confessed to Lara’s murder in April 2007.

He talked about the murder and tried to implicate Portillo in it in an episode of the History Channel series Gangland titled Bandido Army that was first televised on October 17, 2008. According to Merla, “Portillo tapped him to be his sergeant at arms, the chief of his security force,” and “he was quickly awarded the gang’s coveted ‘expect no mercy’ patch. The patch is given to members who have done something beyond the normal call of duty for the gang.” Unfortunately for truth and justice, Gangland was a quasi-official propaganda arm of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The episode featuring Merla was produced with the Bureau’s “cooperation.” Filings in a civil case titled Dobyns v. U.S.A. detail the extent to which the ATF went to influence public opinion against various motorcycle clubs. And although Gangland represented itself as a journalistic endeavor outtakes from the television show were used in at least two prosecutions: US v. Cavazos et al. and Tennessee versus Gutierrez.

Benesh Murder

The Benesh murder is even more ambiguous. The least ambiguous thing about it is that the Bandidos did not do it. Benesh was not a member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. He was a drug dealer who thought he could become a richer drug dealer if he had the protection of a motorcycle club. He wanted people to think he was a Hells Angel. There has never been any proof that Benesh was actually a member of the Hells Angels or trying to start a charter in Texas. The theory that he was originated with a feature story by Jordan Smith in the Austin Chronicle in May 2006.

“‘We have very few things going for us,’ in this investigation, says veteran Austin Police Homicide Unit Sgt. Hector Reveles, ‘and one [thing] is that information that you’re asking about.’ Conversely,” Smith wrote, “police have been uncharacteristically outspoken about who they believe the shooter to be – or, more precisely, with whom police believe the shooter is associated. ‘That’s a point we feel fairly comfortable talking about,’ says Reveles. ‘We try to consider who would’ve had a motive, and we go from there to try to eliminate or implicate those individuals.’ And in this case, he says, the evidence implicates a member, members (or, at a further reach, someone associated with members), of the infamous Bandidos Motorcycle Club. ‘Everything … has been pointing toward the Bandidos,” he says. “Few or no other things point away.’”

The allegation continues, “According to police, family, and others who knew him, in the months just before his murder Benesh had gotten crossways with members of the Bandidos by riding around town flashing the ‘colors’ – the red-and-white and Death Head insignia patch – of national rival motorcycle club, the Hells Angels. Police say it appears that Benesh was attempting to start a Texas chapter of the Bandidos’ California-based rivals; more importantly, sources say, Benesh was proceeding with the plan without the permission of the Bandidos’ leadership. In the exclusive and secretive world of the nation’s most notorious motorcycle clubs – the Bandidos, Hells Angels, Outlaws, and Pagans are the four largest – Benesh’s actions would indeed cause a stir. The clubs (or gangs, as police define them) are extremely territorial, and Texas is the exclusive territory of the homegrown Bandidos. In short, says one law enforcement officer with extensive knowledge of the clubs, Benesh’s attempts to start a Texas Hells Angels chapter would not (to put it mildly) be well-received by the Bandidos. ‘Oh, no,’ says the officer, ‘that would not go over well.’”

But Benesh wasn’t actually wearing a Hells Angels patch. He was wearing an out of date knockoff of the patch lacking certain current details. For example, after the Hells Angels’ betrayal by Tony Tait the Death Head had its lips sewn shut.

Now, after letting the unsubstantiated accusations ferment for a dozen years, the Department of Justice hopes to break the Bandidos with them.

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19 Responses to “Bandidos Trial Continues”

  1. rookery Says:

    saurkraut: some, cant speak for all of it, of that 81 photo stuff he has on those sites is rather obviously faked. bet it sells well tho..

  2. Richie Saurkraut Says:

    Rebel—Completely unrelated—except I believe the same thing happened to you when your site was hacked off the web by the iron order. Bo Bushnell’s site– Straight Satans 1% mc outlaw archive has vanished for more than a week. Given how enthusiastic he and his followers were (are), this CANNOT be voluntary. His hackers are much heavier—He owns and displays multiple old HA cuts,patches and other items….also more photos and videos than any one. He’s proven by video, audio, and photo that they began in 1951, not 1948. He received multiple death threats even before he published his first book and defied them. Do you know anything about this?

  3. david Says:

    True and constitutional courts are public courts, with a complete written/electronic
    record of ALL proceedings had. They are courts of RECORD. And defendants are presumed not guilty.

    The bullshit Bemporad is conducting, is a secret “star chamber” proceeding against defendants who are presumed guilty, by the court, before they ever set foot in it.

  4. Richie Saurkraut Says:

    Rebel—Completely unrelated—-except the same thing happened to you– (I think)— Bo Bushnell’s site —Straight Satans 1% mc Outlaw Archive has been taken off line for over a week now…Given how enthusiastic Bushnell and all his followers were, this could NOT be voluntary—-I suspect it’s been hacked as you were by the iron order. Bushnell’s hackers are much heavier—He displayed several HA cuts from long ago and proved their origin was in 1951, not 1948. He had received numerous death threats from people who really, really resented his collection of photos and artifacts being made public. Do you know anything about this?

  5. eddie Says:

    Thing is…All the cry babies testifying were National Members. Isn’t like they were back in the back just paying dues. Good luck Senor John and Senor Jeff and to anyone else that these rats finger.

  6. James W Crawford Says:

    Re Gandolf,

    Amen about arson. Fires have a habit of getting out of control. The first three, THPRD arson fires occurred on a forested Parks District property adjacent to my own forest and grassland property. The fire had the potential to propogate up a creek canyon onto my property and also to a suburban neighborhood. Could have burned out hundreds of houses.

    The THPRD groupies and the Citizen Participation Organization fucktards who had been fighting to prevent mr from developing my land had eagerely exploited the suspicions that I was the arsonist for political purposes. Almost worked. Might explain why the DA waited half a year to present the evidence to a grand jury. The theory that the THPRD security guard was a cop want to be that was hoping to become the hero that could get a job as a real cop has merit. However; I continue to harbor suspicions that he was “inspired” by parks officials and CPO fucktards as a ploy to implicate me. I have the police reports. The detective (who is proof that not all cops are bad) had the perp identified and all evidence collected in May yet the DA did not indict until December 31. No way in Hell that they would allow a serial arsonist to run at large unless they knew damn well that he was finished torching things.

    Interestingly, the same community has now experienced yet another series of arson fires. This time it is McMansions that are under construction in the middle of a mostly built subdivision with lots of occupied houses next door.. The arsonist is torching these houses after all framing and roofing is done but before the drywall is installed. Maximum vulnerability to fire and burn so hot that the fire spreads to adjacent houses. All the houses that arebeing torched were being built by one developer whom THPRD has been attempting to extort land for parks from.

    My discovery of the illegal marijunna grow that a tennant installed in the barn that they rent from me reall pissed me off. Aside from setting me up for civil forefeiture, the overloaded electrical system was a fire waiting to happen. One fire that we had in the neighborhood spread to 400+ acres. It would have gotten much larger if I hadnt used my bulldozer to scrape a fire break around it then cut some fire lanes through the woods so fire crews could get at it.

    What is really pathetic and ironic to people on this forum is how eagerely the “respectable businesmen” from my tenant’s drinking buddies from the Gaston Lodge of the Knights of the Pythians committed perjury during the eviction trial. I had belatedly realized that the fuzzy (4th generation photocopy?) drawing prepared of the pole barn by Ed Woods of Econo Fab construction innacurately portrayed the main support posts as just sitting on the floor slab (which had been poured years after the barn was built) rather than buried in the ground as the undersized eve wall posts were. This drawing enabled the engineer from Alliance Engineering to pretend that there were no bending moments on the support posts so the damage did not matter.

    The “respectable businessmen” who belong to the Knights of the Pythians have far less integrity than a Badido or Hells Angels patch holder.

  7. Dutchboy Says:

    About Benesh’s death. Sgt. Reveles said “Everything…pointing toward the (BMC)… Nothing points away”. In other words Sargent YOU WEREN’T LOOKING ELSEWHERE because you were afraid you might find something.

    I’m not a detective or highly trained investigator, let’s see if I can find someone besides the BMC that might want this fool dead. Well as a drug dealer
    his suppliers, if he ripped them off
    his clients, if he ripped them off
    other dealers (he was trying to expand, that had to be coming out of someone)
    members of his own family he had screwed over
    If he was rocking a fake 81 set then MANY folks and groups that would not want this asshat starting a war including law enforcement. (BTW one douche rocking OBSOLETE colors in the heart of a rival’s territory is how NO CLUB HAS OPERATED EVER) Most likely the everybody saw through his STUPIDITY in a matter of seconds. A slap around and have his cut stripped? Yea. Murder? Nope.

    It’s easier to list the people WHO WOULD NOT WANT TO REMOVE THIS PIECE FROM THE BOARD.

    Outcome Based Research, defining the outcome you want and forcing the data to fit, is a major sin in science. It’s even a bigger sin in Criminal investigations.

  8. Gandalf Says:

    Speaking of Arson. NEVER…EVER, EVER get payback by burning something. Like torching your X’s car, bike…whatever. Never do it. Murder, Rape and Arson are the Big 3 for a reason. You could bulldoze a persons house to rubble and get less time than torching the VW in the driveway.

  9. James W Crawford Says:

    I am amazed and revolted by the idea that the associates of people whom police only suspect has committed a crime without having probable cause for an arrest are being prosecuted.

    I had a situation a few years back when many “citizen activists” and parks groupies were blaming and attempting to implicate me for a series of five arson fires of abandoned houses owned by the Tualitin Hills Parks and Recreation District. The accusations were obviously intended to gecome a pretext for civil forefeiture of land that I owned which THPRD and the community were coveting for a park and trail system. Although an uncommonly competent and dilgent police detective had identified the perpetrator very quickly, over half a year passed before the DA presented the evidence to a Grand Jury. An indictment was handed down on New Years Eve and a THPRD security guard who had been trying to be the hero who arrested the Evil Mr Crawford got to spend the holiday in jail with no call to a lawyer.

    Under the same prosecution theory being employed against the Bandidos, my wife and children could have been prosecuted for my presumed crimes.

    What a bunch of shit.

  10. Gandalf Says:

    …and the obvious. The Judge says, “We won’t allow this trial to be about Twin Peaks.” BUT, Had Jake been convicted Twin Peaks absolutely would have been 100% admissible. It would have been a HUGE part of the Feds case.

  11. Gandalf Says:

    Crazy… You might think with so many Club Members to pick from the Feds could find more dirt to blame on Pike & Co. Using an unsolved crime sounds like desperation. What do you wanna bet they were relying on Jakes conviction… to blame Twin Peaks on Pike & Co in this trial. The fact they said nothing about TP before doesn’t mean they wouldn’t if Jake had been convicted…. It was the plan since 2014.

  12. RtC Says:

    With the FedLEO’s making up shit, it’s highly probable that THEY (feds) shot
    Banesh in order to go after the Bandidos. Feds would have access to snipers
    more readily than anybody else.

    Respects to the REAL & especially Rebel

  13. Mark Says:

    The huge flaw of the police mind set is they engineer the evidence that they want to use in such a way to railroad the accused. Not just Bikers but anyone they single out. The cops going as far as saying that the fake with the unofficial HA patch was murdered over him wanting to start a chapter of the HA’s in Austin. How stupid and out there in LA LA Land is that. First off the ass clown with fake patch isn’t going to start a chapter and everyone in the know, meaning not just club members, knonws that. Another cop lie, to BS a jury.

  14. Iron Rider Says:

    ‘‘We have very few things going for us,’ in this investigation, says veteran Austin Police Homicide Unit Sgt. Hector Reveles, ‘and one [thing] is that information that you’re asking about.’ Conversely,” Smith wrote, “police have been uncharacteristically outspoken about who they believe the shooter to be – or, more precisely, with whom police believe the shooter is associated. ‘That’s a point we feel fairly comfortable talking about,’ says Reveles. ‘We try to consider who would’ve had a motive, and we go from there to try to eliminate or implicate those individuals.

    Let’s look at that for a moement. So Old Sgt Hector is “comfortable” about being outspoken about who the shooter was? So sitting on the john wondering who did it, but no evidence to charge anyone, okay, so keep daydreaming away on the shitter then and as for associations, well if the cops had anything more than a daydream they could put a case together but they didnt have shit so they can sit and dream up all the scenario’s they fiucking want, no evidence no charges.

    As for the “We try to consider who would’ve had a motive, and we go from there to try to eliminate or implicate those individuals ” so basically they just sit and throw around names and scenarios and hope they can find something, anything that they can throw out and hope sticks, yeah good luck with that

    As for the Judge and there being no record of what is going on (or maybe not being made available) that would definitely make me think there is still some shit going on with the Feds or they are going out of their way to make hard for the guys if they have to launch an appeal, very very strange indeed

  15. charles plyler Says:

    Law enforcement officers are not allowed to break our laws to entrap suspects or those being investigated.Confidential Informants are contracted agents hired by police agencies to entrap suspects. C.I’ s should be held to that same standard.Has this ever been challenged to the Supreme Court?

  16. Freebird Says:

    IMO the Govt is using the constitution as a rubber band. Just how far can the constitution be stretched…. where is the bottom and just what will people accept. The answer to that question scares the fuck out of me!

    They (DOJ) needs to hire a relative of Leni Riefenstahl to produce a new version of “Triumph of the Will” US Justice Department against the world!

  17. Rebel Says:

    Dear Koala,

    Yeah, I meant to write 1992. But Tait was out of the club before then and I am not sure when the lips were sewn shut, really. I got it in my head at some point that that was 1992 but I might very well have made that up. Sorry.


  18. Koala Says:

    I’m sure it’s just a typo, Rebel. Not sure when the HA patch changed, but Tait happened long before 2002.

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