The former National Vice President of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Club, 59-year-old John Xavier Portillo, was sentenced on Monday to two consecutive life sentences, plus twenty years, in federal prison for racketeering and drug trafficking charges.
Portillo (photo above) was convicted alongside 63-year-old Bandidos President Jeffrey Pike on May 17, 2018, after a nearly three-month trial. Pike, who faces up to life in federal prison, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 26, 2018.
Both bikers were found guilty of “conspiring to conduct the affairs of a criminal organization through racketeering acts including directing, sanctioning, approving and permitting members of the Bandidos to commit murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault, intimidation, extortion and drug trafficking.”
The Murderous Bunch
Evidence during trial revealed that in 2006, Pike and Portillo ordered other Bandidos members to murder Anthony Benesh, who was attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hells Angels in Austin. Bandidos bikers warned him to cease his activities and recruitment, which he ignored. Several Bandidos then murdered Benesh on March 18, 2006 outside an Austin restaurant to, as prosecutors said, “protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandidos enterprise”.
Another murder Portillo was found guilty of was that of Robert Lara in January 2002 in Atascosa County as payback for killing Bandidos member Javier Negrete. Negrete, a member of the same local Bandidos chapter as Portillo at the time, was killed outside a San Antonio bar in October 2001.
Jurors also found that Pike, Portillo and other Bandidos conspired to murder and assault members and associates of the Cossacks Outlaw Motorcycle Organization. Testimony revealed that Portillo, with Pike’s approval, declared that the Bandidos were “at war” with the Cossacks. A number of violent acts were committed by the Bandidos around Texas in furtherance of this “war,” including in Fort Worth, Gordon, Odessa, Port Aransas, Crystal City and elsewhere.
Texas Mexican Mafia
Testimony also revealed that Portillo and other members of the Bandidos were engaged in trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine and maintained an agreement with the Texas Mexican Mafia wherein Bandidos members were not required to pay the 10-percent “dime” to the Texas Mexican Mafia in exchange for permission to traffic narcotics.
Keeping Texas safe
“The sentencing of Bandidos National Vice President Xavier Portillo is one more step in concluding a comprehensive investigation by DEA, FBI and our law enforcement partners into the leadership structure and criminal activities of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” said Will Glaspy, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration – Houston Division. “This investigation reflects law enforcements commitment to make sure communities across Texas are safe and prevent gang members involved in drug distribution and other criminal activity from establishing a foothold in our communities.”
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