Friday, March 3, 2017

Bandidos indicted in racketeering case

Federal authorities in San Antonio have indicted four more members of the Bandidos MC and added charges for the killing of a man in Austin who reportedly tried to start a chapter of the Hells Angels.

The Bandidos have long been suspected of the hit on Anthony W. Benesh III, who was gunned down by a sniper in 2006 in front of his girlfriend and two children. A new indictment in San Antonio added Johnny “Downtown Johnny” Romo, 47; Robert Romo, 45, Jesse James “Kronic” Benavidez, 40, and Norberto “Hammer” Serna Jr., 35, as defendants — alongside Bandidos national president Jeffrey Fay Pike and the Bandidos’ national vice president, John Xavier Portillo.

Anthony W. Benesh

Jeffrey Fay Pike
The 12-count indictment identifies Johnny Romo as a national sergeant-at-arms who led an enforcement arm of the Bandidos called the “Fat Mexican Crew.”

Benesh had been wearing Hells Angels colors despite being told by the Bandidos that he could not do so in Texas, which is Bandidos territory, and that he would be killed if he didn't stop. The Bandidos and Hells Angels are decades-long rivals and Hells Angels are forbidden from setting up chapters in Texas the same way Bandidos can't open up shop in California. Prosecutors say Benesh was murdered on March 18, 2006, to protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandidos.

John Portillo and Justin Cole Forster
If convicted, all defendants face up to life in prison.