Prosecutors in the virtually cloistered trial of Bandidos Jeffrey Pike and John Portillo continue to twist the Waco Twin Peaks Mass Murder as a malicious attack by eight blood thirsty Bandits on 70 gentle Cossacks. Simultaneously, Waco remains a hidden word at the trial.
The original indictment that led to this trial, against Pike, Portillo and former Bandido Justin Cole Forster, alleged that Portillo had “declared that the Bandidos OMO was ‘at war’ with the Cossacks Outlaw Motorcycle Organization” after a fight between four Cossacks and 10 Bandidos in Abilene in November 2013,
“On a date unknown, but prior to December 12, 2014, John Portillo again informed Dallas area Bandidos OMO members that they were ‘at war’ with the Cossacks OMO.”
And the government, for all practical purposes, lied when it said “On or about December 12,2014, Bandidos OMO members entered the Gators Jam Inn in Fort Worth, Texas, where members of the Cossacks OMO, Ghost Riders OMO and Winos OMO were conducting a meeting. Bandidos OMO members immediately began assaulting the OMO members present and Ghost Riders OMO member G.B. was shot and ldlled.” The accusation is skillfully worded to reinforce the notion that the Bandidos were pursuing a war against the Cossacks.
At the time, there was a single Cossack in the bar. The dispute was between a Bandido and a member of the Wino’s Crew Motorcycle Club over a woman. Ghost Rider Motorcycle Club member Geoffrey Brady was killed during the gunfight. Two Bandidos were wounded including a Waco firefighter. A local Bandidos chapter president named Howard Wayne Baker was convicted of murder for Brady’s death, not because he actually murdered Brady but under Texas’ unique law of parties. The logic of that law goes: Baker was the ranking Bandido at the crime scene; the other Bandidos would not have been there without Baker’s acquiescence; therefore Baker was responsible for the murder; and also Baker had very scary facial tattoos so he made a good villain.
The Wino’s Crew is an offshoot of the Boozefighters Motorcycle Club and is named in honor of Boozefighters founder William “Wino Willie” Forkner. Forkner died in June 1997. Five months before the fight in Fort Worth, members of the Wino’s Crew and the Boozefighters engaged in a gunfight at a Chevron in Hollister, California. At the time of Brady’s murder, Bandidos and Winos rarely double dated. It remains unclear who fired the first shot.
According to the original indictment filed on December 16, 2015. Portillo had asked Pike to “‘turn his back from what I’m gonna do’ in an attempt to shield Pike from criminal responsibility when referencing his intended orders regarding the war with the Cossacks OMO. On March 3, 2015, John Portillo again declared that the Bandidos OMO was ‘at war’ with the Cossacks OMO. Portillo indicated he ‘wants that Texas rocker back,’ referencing the Texas bottom rocker worn by Cossacks OMO members without Bandidos OMO permission. On or about March 3,2015,”
But that statement is also carefully worded to obscure the truth. Cossacks didn’t wear a Texas bottom rocker “without” the Bandidos permission but, on the contrary, with it.
Nevertheless, the prosecution tried to hammer home the same, misleading point in Pike and Portillo’s trial last week. Jurors heard a tape recorded conversation between Portillo and former Bandido Johnny Romo and then listened to a DEA agent tell them what they were supposed to have heard.
Romo had previously agreed to spy on the Bandidos for the government in return for leniency after Romo was caught dealing drugs. What Portillo actually said was: “We’re not going to fuck around with them Cossacks, dude. It’s on. Our patch, our club, is at war with these assholes.”
Cossacks had been acting like they were at war with the Bandidos. What is most interesting about the tape recording is that internal criticism of documents associated both the federal Bandidos case and the Twin Peaks Mass murder strongly suggests that two DPS agents named Christopher Frost and Steven Schwartz heard the tape in which Portillo grumbled about the patch issue and they heard it that month – March 2015. In a written report produced shortly after the mass murder the two men state they learned “the Bandido OMG and Cossacks MC were at odds due to the Cossacks wearing the bottom ‘Texas’” after a dozen Cossacks severely beat a Bandido named Rolando Campos as he rode home from a club party in Tyler, Texas on March 22 – 19 days after Romo enticed Portillo to say he wanted, “that Texas bottom rocker back.” The Texas bottom rocker wasn’t an issue. Everybody in both clubs knew the Cossacks had the Bandidos permission to wear “Texas.”
But in their report, Frost and Schwartz say Lorena “police told” them 19 days after Portillo’s secretly recorded statement, two years after a federal task force began trying to get something on the Bandidos national chapter, 56 days before the Twin Peaks Mass Murder, “that members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club carried out the assault and that ‘the Bandido OMG and Cossacks MC were at odds due to the Cossacks wearing the bottom ‘Texas’ rocker on the back lower portion of their jackets.’”
Last week a DEA agent Chad Lloyd, who may be up to his neck in the Waco murders, told jurors that by February 2015, Pike and Portillo had decided to take the Texas bottom rocker back.
It is impossible to know whether the jurors are smart enough or not to know you can’t shove toothpaste back in a tube, but it is increasingly obvious that the Department of Justice is making this case up as it goes along.
Oh, and also nobody in this trial is ever allowed to say “Waco.”