Bandidos biker gang president sentenced to life in prison

The sentencing comes after the Bandidos president was found guilty of directing a violent racketeering and drug trafficking operation.
by Associated Press /
Image: A police officer removes a jacket bearing the name of the Bandidos motorcycle gang from a vehicle at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco
A police officer removes a jacket bearing the name of the Bandidos motorcycle gang from a vehicle at the Twin Peaks restaurant, where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed, in Waco, Texas on May 19, 2015.Mike Stone / Reuters file

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SAN ANTONIO — The national president of the Bandidos biker gang was sentenced Wednesday to life plus 10 years in prison for directing a violent racketeering and drug trafficking enterprise.

Jeffrey Faye Pike of Conroe, Texas, was sentenced in federal court in San Antonio. The 63-year-old leader of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization for more than a decade was convicted in May, along with Vice President John Xavier Portillo of San Antonio, after a lengthy trial.

Image: John Xavier Portillo
John Xavier Portillo, former national vice president of the Bandidos, leaving John Wood Federal Courthouse in San Antonio, Texas on May 17, 2018.Kin Man Hui / The San Antonio Express-News via AP file

The jury found Pike and Portillo guilty of racketeering conspiracy, murder conspiracy, racketeering assault, murder racketeering, extortion and weapons violations. Portillo also was convicted of another racketeering murder count, drug trafficking and drug trafficking conspiracy, and another weapons count. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus 20 years Monday.

The case arose from the 2006 killing of Anthony Benesh, who was attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hells Angels and had ignored the Bandidos' warnings to cease recruitment. Evidence during trial revealed that Portillo and Pike ordered members to murder Benesh, who was killed outside an Austin restaurant in March 2006.

Jurors also found that Portillo was involved in the 2002 killing of Robert Lara to avenge for the death of a Bandidos member.

Also, with Pike's approval, Portillo declared that the Bandidos were at war with the Cossacks motorcycle organization, according to testimony. That led to numerous acts of violence by the Bandidos around Texas, including in Fort Worth, Gordon, Odessa, Port Aransas, Crystal City and elsewhere.

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