Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Bandidos Motorcycle Gang Targeted in Multi-Agency Operation

Investigation Included Members in Rio Rancho

A multiagency search and seizure operation targeted alleged members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club around the state including in Rio Rancho.

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.

Following a shooting in Red River in May which led to three deaths and five wounded bystanders, NNM State Police contacted the FBI and asked for assistance in 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.

Law enforcement focused on twenty-five New Mexico Bandidos who appeared to be the most criminally active and loudest voices advocating for continued violence.

A search warrant was executed in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Los Lunas, Belen, Tome, Grants, San Rafael, Gallup, Farmington, Hobbs, Alamogordo, Ruidoso, Capitan and Arabela.

During the searches, law enforcement officers seized 151 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, numerous ballistics vests, 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 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.”

No one has been prosecuted to date in connection with the shootout between members of the Bandidos and a much smaller motorcycle club, the Water Dogs, the Albuquerque Journal reported.


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