Coordinated Multiagency Operation Targets Bandidos Motorcycle Club in New Mexico

2023-08-31 07:00:00

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Today, Alexander M.M. Uballez, United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico, Raul Bujanda, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Albuquerque Field Office, and W. Troy Weisler, New Mexico State Police Chief, announced the results of a coordinated, multiagency enforcement operation across the state which targeted alleged members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

According to the search warrant, over the past four years, law enforcement officials in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma have observed a sharp increase in violence between the Bandidos and the Mongols Motorcycle Club. Most recently, in May 2023, in Red River, NM, several Bandidos members from New Mexico and Texas confronted a group of Water Dogs MC members. The confrontation was the continuation of months of harassment by the Bandidos concerning whether the Water Dogs MC had aligned itself with the Bandidos or Mongols. In Red River, Bandidos members surrounded the Water Dogs MC members, and three Bandidos members attacked a Water Dogs member. The fight escalated and two Bandidos members and one Water Dogs member were shot and killed. Five bystanders were wounded in the incident.

Following the Red River shooting, New Mexico State Police contacted the FBI and requested assistance conducting a statewide investigation of the Bandidos. Subsequently, in June 2023, the Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Task Force (OMGTF) was created. The OMGTF is comprised of investigators and analysts from the FBI, NMSP, New Mexico Corrections Department, Albuquerque Police Department, Rio Rancho Police Department, Ruidoso Police Department, Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office, Valencia County Sheriff’s Office, Eddy County Sheriff’s Office, Otero County Sheriff’s Office and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The OMGTF set its sights on the Bandidos, given the organization’s continued participation in murders, shootings, extortion, and other violent acts.  It focused on twenty-five members within the New Mexico chapters who appeared to be the most criminally active and loudest voices advocating for continued violence.

The search warrant was executed on premises in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas, Belen, Tome, Grants, San Rafael, Gallup, Farmington, Hobbs, Alamogordo, Ruidoso, Capitan and Arabela. During the subsequent searches, law enforcement officers seized 151 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, numerous ballistics vests, and fentanyl, meth and cocaine. A stolen police radio was also recovered.

As a result of the operation, two individuals were arrested on state charges. They are Kenneth Martinez and Henry Mascarenas.  Charges are also pending against Ed Sanchez Solis.

“The motorcycle is a symbol of freedom, of individualism, and the open road,” said U.S. Attorney Uballez. “But today, a selfish few are trying to tell us who gets to enjoy our roads, what clothes they are required to wear, and with whom they can ride. The people of New Mexico have no more patience for violent bullies. Working together, the law enforcement agencies of New Mexico return the open road to the public who owns it.”

“Today, we joined forces to take significant law enforcement action to disrupt an outlaw motorcycle gang trying to establish a foothold in our communities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Raul Bujanda.  “Along with our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners, our efforts to combat organized violent crime will continue to be waged each and every day.  I am grateful for the dedicated law enforcement professionals who work tirelessly to disrupt such criminal activity and fight for justice on behalf of the citizens we serve and protect.”

“The ongoing violence involving outlaw motorcycle gangs across our state has a negative impact on all the citizens of New Mexico.  The law enforcement community owes it to those we serve to come together and stop this behavior,” said Troy Weisler, Chief of the New Mexico State Police.  “By working with our Federal, State, County, and local law enforcement partners on operations like this one, we are one step closer to preventing the spread of drugs and criminal mischief that accompanies outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

The OMGTF led the investigation, with assistance from the United States Bureau of Prisons, United States Probation Office, New Mexico Organized Crime Commission, Texas Department of Public Safety, Second Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Eighth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Twelfth Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and other law enforcement or corrections agencies.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Spindle and David B. Hirsch are assisting with the investigation.

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



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