Bandidos Motorcycle Club: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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A member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. (Getty)

Members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club were among 5 gangs involved in a shootout in Waco, Texas that left 9 dead and 18 injured.

Two other gangs, the Cossacks and the Scimitars, who appear to be aligned, were also involved in the shooting. The other two gangs haven’t been identified.

Police said Monday morning that 170 people were arrested in connection with the shooting and will all face engaging in organized crime charges. The investigation is continuing.

Click here to see a list of the bikers who have been arrested.

The rivalry between the Cossacks and the Bandidos in Texas goes back to at least 2013.

According to the, the president of the Abilene, Texas chapter of the Bandidos, Curtis Jack Lewis, was arrested in November 2013 on charges that he stabbed two members of the Cossacks during a fight outside a restaurant.

Here’s what you need to know about the Bandidos:

1. The Bandidos Were Formed in Texas in 1966 & Spread Worldwide

The motorcycle club was founded in 1966 by Vietnam War veteran Donald Chambers in San Leon, Texas, according to one of its websites.

Chambers was convicted of murder six years after founding the gang.

The gang’s motto is “we are the people our parents warned us about.” It’s patch is a man in sombrero with a machete and pistol.

It has spread to more than 100 chapters in the United States, and international chapters in Germany, Australia, Denmark, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Malaysia, Indoensia, Singapore, Costa Rica and Belgium.

There are more than 1,000 members in the United States.

The gang’s main rival has historically been the Hell’s Angels.

A gang expert told the Washington Post that the gang shootout parallels previous fights between the Bandidos and the Hells Angels, one of the world’s largest biker gangs.

The expert, Kansas City-area police officer Steve Cook, said the feud started because the Cossacks, backed by the Angels, challenged the Bandidos for control of Texas. Other gangs joined the battle with the Cossacks because they were angry over recent killings by the Bandidos.

“My perception is that the Cossacks have been flirting, if you will, with Hell’s Angels,” Cook told the Post. “If I’m a Bandido, my immediate reaction is: ‘These guys are going to try to make a move and bring an international gang into our state, which is going to cause a war.'”

Cook also told the Post:

The Bandidos already knew that the Cossacks weren’t going to play ball, and when push came to shove and these guys weren’t cooperating, all hell broke loose. You can tell by the number of weapons involved that these guys came looking for a fight. They were prepared.

2. The FBI Has Named Them as an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang

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A member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang stands outside the Bandidos Berlin Eastgate club on June 24, 2011. (Getty)

The FBI has named the Bandidos as an outlaw motorcycle gang.

The FBI says of the gang:

The Bandidos constitute a growing criminal threat to the U.S. Law enforcement authorities estimate that the Bandidos are one of the two largest OMGs operating in the U.S., with approximately 900 members belonging to 93 chapters. The Bandidos are involved in transporting and distributing cocaine and marijuana and are involved in the production, transportation and distribution of methamphetamine. The Bandidos are most active in the Pacific, Southeastern, Southwestern and the West Central regions of the U.S. The Bandidos are expanding in each of these regions by forming additional chapters and allowing members of supporting clubs, known as “puppet” or “duck” club members who have sworn allegiance to another club but who support and do the “dirty work” of a mother club – to form new or join existing Bandidos chapters.

3. The Gang Was Involved in the ‘Great Nordic Biker War’ With the Hells Angels in the 1990s

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Members and supporters of the motorcycle gang, Bandidos, of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Germany. (Getty)

The Bandidos were involved with what has become known as the “Great Nordic Biker War” with rival Hell’s Angels in Scandanavia from 1994 to 1997.

According to the website Gangsters Inc., the three-year war resulted in 11 murders and 74 attempted murders, with 96 people wounded.

The fighting included gun fights, car bombs and even an anti-tank missile fired at a prison cell holding a Bandidos member.

4. An ‘Internal Cleansing’ Led to a Mass Murder in Canada in 2006

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An April, 2006 computer screen grab shows the site for the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. (Getty)

An “internal cleansing” led to the largest mass killing in Ontario, Canada’s history in 2006. According to CTV, eight men were fatally shot and stuffed into cars that were abandoned southwestern Ontario in April 2006.

Six men were convicted in the killings. The Bandidos former international president, Jeff Pike, of Texas, was accused by authorities of ordering the murders, but was never charged.

5. The Waco Shootout Was Called ‘One of the Worst Gun Fights’ in the City’s History

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A Waco police officer leads a biker away from the scene of a shooting that left at least 9 dead and several others wounded. (Waco Police photo)

One officer called the shootout between the rival gangs “one of the worst gun fights that we’ve had in the city limits of Waco.”

Police told KXXV-TV that all of the victims were gang members who had gathered at the Twin Peaks restaurant. At least 18 others were, also all bikers, were injured. The extent of those injuries wasn’t immediately released.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton said innocent bystanders and officers somehow managed to escape injury, including a restaurant full of families just feet away from the one where the shooting started.

“Let’s just say it’s Sunday and someone was looking out for us,” Swanton said. “There were so many rounds fired from bad guy weapons here.”

Police said there were at least 100 bikers at the scene and at least five gangs involved. Swanton said the argument started over a parking issue.

More than 100 weapons were recovered at the scene.

“We were in marked cars. They knew we were here, they knew that we’ve been here at their past events. And it mattered not to them,” Swanton said at a news conference, which was posted online by KXXV. “That tells you the kind of level of people we’re dealing with.”

The police department’s spokesman, Sgt. Patrick Swanton, was clear about who the bikers are after a reporter said one of the bikers claimed that they are clubs, not gangs.

“They are a biker gang. We know exactly who they are,” Swanton said at a televised news conference. “A bunch of criminal element biker members that came to Waco and tried to instill violence into our community and unfortunately did just that.”

“These are criminals on Harley-Davidsons,” he said.




Gun fights? One biker pulled out a gun and the cops mowed down a bunch with automatic weapons (Machine guns), no shot was fired by any biker there

keith haynes

Outlaw biker gangs are mindful of innocent citizens when clubs get together and when it turns violent. Their targets are bikers not citizens.
Outlaw biker gangs are a huge problem with all bikers not just other Outlaw clubs.
The OMG ‘ S are against the world where motorcycle clubs are not.
A lot of these OMG clubs/gangs recruit members inside prisons or on the street in which there is a process to go through before one becomes a member and most of the time it takes from 1 to 5 years for someone to become a member.
Yes I use to be involved with an Outlaw Club 35 years ago and I quit because I wouldn’t break the law….
Riding Outlaw is not what people think. It is a society of its own and is well regulated.
They are definately criminals and if not when they start they will be when they earn their full patch.
They are definately people to stay away from, individually and collectively.
Not all 3 pc. Patch clubs are Outlaw and a lot are law enforcement clubs and public servant clubs, get to know the difference especially if you ride a motorcycle, the life you save may be your own.
Outlaw Clubs are trying to change their image by putting on toy runs at Christmas time but that’s a farce… they still do their Outlaw activities when not playing good old boys….


Easy to see you haven’t earned the 1% patch so take your bitch lecture and shove it.


If you are so proud of your 1% patch…why u gotta post anonymous?


So tough to challenge, why do you have to post anonymously?


You say….Outlaw Clubs are trying to change their image by putting on toy runs at Christmas time but that’s a farce… they still do their Outlaw activities when not playing good old boys….
Kind of reminds me of politicians doesn’t it?


this is so true. the 1%ers feel they own everything and can tell people if they can have a club, if they will or will not wear a support patch, force them to pay dues, tell them what functions they will attend. they will do this in a name of a coalition of clubs. they train their support clubs to spew propaganda garbage about how they control the state and you must ask there permission and some protocol that all 1%ers believe is their right to dictate. as a free american why would you seek the permission from domestic terrorists? why would someone that has deployed in the military come home and ask a criminal for permission to do anything? now not all 1%ers are criminals but they are grouped in do to guilt by association. they know they bad shit being done so it makes them no better. my suggestion is !!!! stop given criminals your hard earned money, stop being so afraid to wear the state you are from on your bottom rocker. top going to their functions, stop going to their places of business. if you all stand up and say no more then you all have the power. if you don’t then you get to be like the rest of the people arrested and sitting in jail in Waco that was not part of the bandits or cassocks. and these soldiers involved will soon learn that it is in their military contract that they can not be affiliated with criminal organizations. the military is looking into this and will soon be dealing with those soldiers accordingly. with all that said…grab your balls and be men and stop asking for permission to be free, to ride and have brotherhood. many clubs have already made that stand. many are law abiding and do not partake in criminal activity. if you don’t have the numbers to stand your ground then look for a club that has and/or will.

Motorcycle Trading Post

There will always be a few bad “organizations” where the leadership guides its members to perform unlawful acts. I agree that something needs to be done about these horrible groups.


You may want to do a little history on OMC’s and what they usually are comprised of. And how they came into existence. Every type of club or organization has rules and regulations. That should be respected by all. You won’t tell a civilian to put on a military uniform just because he feels its his American right without serving first, nor an individual to wear a Square and Compass without the proper steps. So don’t tell the same person grab a state rocker without earning it.


You don’t know shit about 1%ers or support clubs most are veterans so stick with a subject you know about, and get better information.

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