Not so long ago, we reported that some of the biggest names of the Bandidos MC were under trial for a slew of charges including murder and racketeering. The trial began after the FBI gathered sufficient evidence to pin down the Bandidos. Bandidos MC is one of the largest outlaw motorcycle clubs in the country. Currently ongoing is a trial which includes former National President Jeffrey Fay Pike, the former National Vice President John Xavier Portillo, and the former National Sergeant-at-arms.
Among other things, the trial alleges the involvement of these Bandidos bigwigs in the killing of a Hells Angels member who violated the Bandidos territory in Texas in 2006.
Investigating Authorities collected evidence from wire-tapping, moles, and other sources.
The trial has several former Bandidos MC members testifying against the bigwigs. One of them is 45-year old Robert Romo of San Antonio. Robert is the younger brother of 47-year old Johnny “Downtown” Romo, who was the National Sergeant-at-arms for the Bandidos at the time of the incident in 2006. Johnny gave his testimony about two weeks ago.
Robert is charged with the murder of Hells Angels member Anthony W. Benesh III.
Robert was part of a six-man hit crew sent out by the Bandidos bigwigs to assassinate Benesh. Robert’s brother Johnny was also part of the same crew. Benesh’s murder remains unsolved for 11 years until authorities found evidence for the same in their investigation against the Bandidos last year. Robert was only a prospect in the Bandidos MC at the time of the killing and had joined the hit crew to fast-track his way to becoming a full-patched member on his brother’s request.
The hits were allegedly ordered by Pike, and the orders were then passed down by Portillo.
While the crew the Romos were a part of set out to kill Benesh, another crew was sent to eliminate the other Hells Angels member who had flown the Angels’ colors in Bandidos territory. The crew used two vehicles to stake out outside’ Benesh’s house for two days, and used walkie-talkies to communicate.
Robert had brought a hunting rifle, which was fitted with a scope, for the job.
As Assistant U.S. Attorney John Gibson walked Robert through the events of the day based on the evidence they had gathered and Robert’s own testimony, Robert paused for a while. He then turned his head and cried, as he recalled what his brother said over the walkie-talkie right before the shooting.
“Our target is coming out”!
Hearing this, Robert picked up his rifle, steadied it on the windowsill of his car, and then peered through the scope. The U.S. Attorney then asked Robert what he saw. At this, Robert paused again, turned his head from side to side. He then sighed and took a while before he answered. That’s when Senior U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra, presiding over the hearing, adjourned the Court for lunch.
When the Court resumed after lunch, Robert was a bit more composed.
Continuing his testimony about the events that took place on the day of the shooting, Robert said that he aimed at driver’s side of Benesh’s truck. He soon saw the head of a man, from his scope, whom he believed to have been Benesh. And that’s when he pulled the trigger, taking the shot. Robert continued that immediately after he took the shot, the Bandidos member behind the wheel of the car he was in sped off. Robert didn’t even know if his shot hit the person he aimed for or not. They just sped away!
“I didn’t even know what he looked like.”
The testimony of the Romo brothers matched, albeit some variations.
Both the brothers testified that the second hit crew sent to College Station to assassinate the other Hells Angels member had Portillo as one of its members. Right after the shooting, Robert was made a full-patched Bandidos, in a timeframe much less than the normal. He was then made part of the “Fat Mexican Crew”, an enforcers’ squad for the national chapter of the Bandidos.
Meanwhile, Pike and Portillo’s lawyers began to rip apart the testimonies of the brothers.
They pointed out discrepancies in the prosecution case and said that the brothers were placed in the same jail in March 2017, allowing them to get their stories in sync. Both the brothers had pleaded guilty to charges of ‘discharging a firearm in a racketeering murder’, and ‘murder in furtherance of racketeering’ in September last year. Two other former Bandidos members pleaded guilty to similar charges in the killing of Benesh. The four are currently awaiting sentencing.