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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Member Arrested for Retaliating Against an Informant

This morning, federal authorities arrested Albert DeLeon for his alleged role in threatening to harm a government informant, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash; Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Will R. Glaspy, Houston Division; and FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

A federal grand jury indictment, unsealed today, charges San Antonio resident Albert DeLeon, 45, with one count of retaliating against an informant.

According to the indictment, on or about February 22, 2019, DeLeon, a member of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization (OMO), approached an individual and threatened to harm the individual in retaliation for the individual providing information and evidence relating to the criminal activities of the Bandidos, including information provided in the case of United States v. John Portillo, Jeffrey Pike, et. al. 

“The arrest of Albert Deleon sends a strong and unified message that the mere intimidation and threating of a Government witness will not be endured and those who commit these offenses will rightfully be brought to justice,” stated Will R. Glaspy, Special Agent in Charge, DEA. 

“Unlawful coercion, intimidation or threats against an individual, who cooperates with or testifies on behalf of the Government, will not be tolerated,” stated Christopher Combs, Special Agent in Charge, FBI.

DeLeon appeared this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Elizabeth S. Chestney and remains in federal custody.  Upon conviction, DeLeon faces up to 20 years in federal prison. 

On May 17, 2018, after a nearly three-month trial, jurors convicted Pike, the National President of the Bandidos, and Portillo, the National Vice President, of wide-ranging criminal activity, including conspiring to 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.

Evidence during trial revealed that in 2006, Pike and Portillo ordered other Bandidos members to murder Anthony Benesh.  At the time, Benesh was attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hell’s Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Organization in Austin. Members of the Bandidos warned Benesh to cease his activities and recruitment, which Benesh ignored. Several Bandido members then murdered Benesh on March 18, 2006, outside an Austin restaurant to protect the power, reputation and territory of the Bandido enterprise.

Jurors also found that Portillo and others killed Robert Lara in January 2002 in Atascosa County as payback for killing Bandido member Javier Negrete. Negrete, a member of the same Bandido chapter as Portillo, was killed outside a San Antonio bar in October 2001.

Jurors also found that Pike, Portillo and others conspired to murder and assault members and associates of the Cossacks Outlaw Motorcycle Organization (Cossacks). 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.

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 Bandido members were not required to pay the 10-percent “dime” to the Texas Mexican Mafia in exchange for permission to traffic narcotics.

In September 2018, Portillo and Pike were each sentenced to life in federal prison. 

This investigation is being conducted by the DEA and FBI together with the New Braunfels Police Department, San Antonio Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Terrell Hills Police Department, and Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.  

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated March 7, 2019