FBI, other agencies, target Bandidos biker gang
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The FBI announced an extensive investigation Thursday into a violent biker gang in New Mexico, and it has key members in its sights.
The bureau revealed it’s targeting the Bandidos biker gang hoping to prevent more violence. It gave details on a task force that includes many agencies. Those agencies are listed at the bottom of this post.
“I think the impact is going to be huge,” Albuquerque FBI Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda said.
Investigators are focusing on 25 members. On Thursday, they released their names and pictures, which can be seen below.
Early Thursday morning, they carried out search warrants and showed up at each of the men’s houses, taking items ranging from guns to gang gear.
They began these efforts shortly after the shootout at the Red River motorcycle rally in May. Investigators say Bandidos instigated it. Two of their members were killed, one opposing gang member was killed, and five bystanders were injured.
“So when Red River happened, that was kind of a wake-up call for everyone who was here,” Bujanda said.
The FBI says Bandidos have been making plans to attack members of two other gangs because of what happened that day.
“What happens when one club goes after another? We get impacted,” Bujanda said.
They say Bandidos harass and sometimes attack people on the roads who aren’t members of any biker group.
“Today a selfish few are trying to tell us who gets to enjoy our roads, and what we get to wear on our roads, and who we get to ride on our roads with,” U.S. Attorney Alexander Uballez said.
FBI agents revealed many details this week in court documents. They used informants to gather much of the information.
In one example, FBI agents say last year a Bandidos member ran a woman off the road and beat her up badly. All she did was pass him on her motorcycle.
The FBI describes the Bandidos as a “highly organized criminal enterprise.” They’re international and have as many as 100 members in New Mexico.
They’ve committed at least six homicides in the last three-and-a-half years, according to the FBI.
FBI agents listed possible charges members could face. They include racketeering, making threats, having stolen guns and dealing drugs.
The Bandidos aren’t simply a biker gang – they’re the biker gang in New Mexico, according to the FBI.
The gang demands that no other gang disrespect them, and they make them wear a “support patch.” If they don’t, or if they align with a rival gang, there will be problems.
That was the backdrop to the deadly Red River shootout.
The Bandidos’ gear often includes Nazi symbols. They don’t allow female, black or gay members. Informants describe lots of drug use.
After the Red River incident, the FBI describes an escalation. Informants are saying Bandidos believe they “must retaliate” against the other gangs. Members have been making concrete plans, doing specific training with guns for road shootings, and they’re all well-armed – including modifying some guns for fully automatic fire.
The FBI says the task force will keep investigating the Bandidos, and other biker gangs if necessary.
They say the evidence they collected from the 25 members they’re targeting may tie them to other crimes.
Many of those members don’t have many felony convictions. FBI leaders say that shows they haven’t been held accountable.
Here are the men the FBI says it’s targeting:
The agencies involved in the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Task Force include:
- New Mexico State Police
- New Mexico Corrections
- Albuquerque Police
- Ruidoso Police
- Rio Rancho Police
- Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office
- Valencia County Sheriff’s Office
- Eddy County Sheriff’s Office
- Otero County Sheriff’s Office
- Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office