San Antonio Bandidos Member Pleads Guilty to Murder
Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization (OMO) member Frederick Cortez (aka “Fast Fred”), age 48, faces life in federal prison after pleading guilty to murder, announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Western District of Texas; Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division; Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw; and San Antonio Police Chief William McManus.
Cortez pleaded guilty before United States Magistrate Judge Pamela A. Mathy in San Antonio this afternoon to Murder in Aid of Racketeering, stemming from the January 2002 retaliation murder of Robert Lara in Atascosa County for killing one of their own. Javier Negrete, a member of the same Bandidos OMO chapter as Cortez, was killed outside a San Antonio bar in October 2001.
Cortez remains in custody pending sentencing scheduled for January 23, 2017, before Senior United States District Judge David A. Ezra.
Bandidos OMO National President Jeffrey Pike, age 61 of Conroe, TX, and National Vice President John Portillo, age 57 of San Antonio, who are also charged in the same indictment, are currently scheduled for trial on August 7, 2017. Portillo remains in federal custody; Pike, on bond, pending trial.
The superseding indictment accuses Pike and Portillo of directing, sanctioning, approving and permitting other members of the organization to carry out racketeering acts including murder, attempted murder, assault, intimidation, extortion and drug trafficking to protect and enhance the organization’s power, territory, reputation and profits.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the FBI, DEA and Texas DPS together with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, New Braunfels Police Department, Seguin Police Department, San Antonio Police Department, Bexar County Sheriff’s Department, Atascosa County Sheriff’s Department, and the 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 defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.