Who Are The Bandidos?
Friday June 16, 2006
They don’t have the profile of the Hell’s Angels. And they don’t appear to be as violent as some of the biker gangs that have plagued Quebec in recent years.
But as the murder of eight people in Shedden, Ontario last April shows, the Bandidos biker gang allegedly don’t take a back seat to anyone when it comes to doling out vengeance and a twisted form of justice.
Here’s a look at the gang.
Unlike the Angels, the Bandidos don’t give authorities a place to raid, because they have only one semi-official clubhouse, located in Ontario.
But they have other branches around the world, including the U.S., Germany, Bangkok, Finland, and Norway. They may have also expanded to Manitoba, Alberta and other Canadian provinces.
They originated from the remnants of the Rock Machine in Quebec, crossing the border and affiliating with the U.S.-created gang, taking on their infamous name.
“The Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang came to our attention first in Ontario in December of 2000,” explains O.P.P. Detective Insp. Don Bell.
“They evolved from the Rock Machine. As you are aware, the Rock Machine was involved in the war in Quebec throughout the 1990s ...
“They first came to our attention in 2000 when members of Rock Machine passed over to Bandidos. Since that time we have seen them involved in similar offences as other motorcycle gangs, drugs, violence.
And in 2002, a Quebec-led enforcement action had seven Ontario members charged with drugs and weapons offences.”
The group originated in Texas in the 60s, and has since spread its tentacles to major international cities.
The feds maintain the Bandidos are in a war with the Angels over drugs and other criminal activities that’s driven by both money and outright hatred.
Their website contains the usual brash claims, including this one: “Only one percent of people have the heart to belong to a group such as the Bandidos motorcycle club ... Our colours don’t run.”
But some officials believe the mass murder and defections to the Angels has all but diluted the gang’s power in the province, and that they’re no longer a major threat.
The government claims many of the groups are also associated with organized crime overseas, making them a convenient conduit to the Canadian and U.S. markets.
Law enforcement officials have made a dent in some of their activities, but due to the secretive nature and number of the gangs - and some splinter groups associated with them - it’s been an uphill battle that has yet to be won.
Among the activities the feds say the gangs regularly take part in:
Trafficking of illegal weapons and contraband and oddly enough,
When I lived in the Hosuton area of Texas 30 years ago, a local newscaster did a whole series on The Banditos and even rode with them. Judd McIlvaine was his name (he happened to be a neighbor). I thought it was nuts at the time because they had several murders on their rap sheet.