EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — An FBI investigation of notorious biker gang Los Bandidos in New Mexico shows numerous links to El Paso.
The FBI targeted dozens of homes of Bandidos members as investigators believed Bandidos gang members were planning to retaliate following the deadly Red River, New Mexico, biker rally shooting back in May.
“Riding motorcycles doesn’t make you a criminal. When you cross the line into criminal activity, that’s when it is an issue,” said Raul Bujanda, FBI special agent in charge in the FBI’s Albuquerque Field Office.
In court documents, El Paso is linked to the Bandidos gang numerous times.
April 2019 court documents say the president of the Bandidos allegedly assaulted a rival biker causing great bodily harm to the rival biker in El Paso.
It is also reported that on several occasions Bandidos members in El Paso allegedly moved drugs from El Paso to Albuquerque. El Paso gang members also allegedly worked with members in Las Cruces to move drugs to Albuquerque.
In addition to moving drugs, the court documents allege that Bandidos members in El Paso were involved in the transporting of firearms that were then smuggled into Mexico to the cartel in exchange for methamphetamine and cocaine.
“They went back and forth countless hours, mainly of surveillance to make sure that we knew exactly where those individuals were. And now in short period of time later, we did 25 federal search warrants,” Bujanda said.
The FBI had search warrants for 25 Bandido members homes throughout New Mexico. In the raids, 151 guns and thousands of rounds of ammo, ballistic vests, fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and a stolen police radio were recovered.
“We are going to test those firearms. We are going to see if they have been attributed to other crimes. If they are, then yeah, there’s going to be other arrests,” Bujanda said.
Three people have been charged criminally but the FBI says more charges are on the way.
“We’ll learn a whole lot more. And we think there’s about 75 to 100 gun dealers in the state. We only hit 25 today. Pretty sure we’re going to learn about the rest of them after today,” Bujanda said.