Christopher Carrizal, President of the Dallas Chapter of the Bandidos MC, completed his first week of trial. Earlier in the week opening statements were heard, starting with District Attorney Abel Reyna focusing on painting a negative picture of the motorcycle sub-culture while criminal defense attorney Casie Gotro skipped her opening statement for now which is sometimes done in order to get a better understanding of how the case progresses.
The State’s First Witness
The first witness called by the state was Lettie Jones, a former cook for Twin Peaks that witnessed the deadly shooting. Jones’ emotional testimony seemed to focused mostly on what she witnessed. There is no doubt she was called first because of her emotional impact to the jury. Poor Lettie has not been able to work since the shooting due to PTSD and is now residing in Buffalo. Unfortunately, she is an innocent victim in all this. I wish her a well-deserved speedy recovery.
The Fat Mexican
Gang expert, Douglas Pearson of Aurora, Colorado, testified on his opinion of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. A summary of his testimony is as follows:
- Pearson testified about “The Fat Mexican Crew” that is a patch that he says is earned by those who have committed serious acts of violence.
- The “Expect No Mercy”patch is a badge of honor worn by those who have committed violent acts.
- Pearson testified about the “5 year patch” which means others will trust you.
- A 25 year patch has the letters “MG” which stands for motorcycle gang.
- The Bandidos have approximately 1,100 members spread out over 17 states, with 35% having felony convictions, 37% have misdemeanor convictions.
- The Confederation of Clubs (COC) is controlled by the Bandidos.
- Bandidos are “most definitely” a criminal outlaw biker gang.
- Bandidos regularly change their bylaws to bypass laws/law enforcement.
- Prospects pledge their motorcycles to the club through a Power of Attorney.
- On cross-examination, Pearson admitted to debriefing a total of four Bandidos, none from Texas, but has communicated with more than a hundred.
Undercover agent Darrin Koslowski also testified as follows:
- He has spent three decades infiltrating outlaw motorcycle clubs such as the Mongols, Vagos and the Warlocks. He provided a history on clubs from WWII to the birth of the term one-percenter.
- District Attorney Abel Reyna is focusing on the term 1%er and stated in his opening argument that he would prove Carrizal belongs to a 1%er gang, even pointing to Carrizal saying he was “heavily involved” in the shootout (good luck).
- Koslowski never infiltrated the Bandidos.
- Kozlowski said motorcycle gangs manipulate their image by sponsoring toy runs and other charitable events. That makes sense if you are a criminal- get in the spotlight! Let everyone know who you are (that’s sarcasm by the way).
“As I stated It was not an isolated act of violence but more a culmination or a crescendo of conflict that existed between two rival motorcycle groups that the evidence will show qualify as criminal street gangs in the state of Texas.”
That was part of Reyna’s opening statement. Read that again and then ask yourself this question- if you know there was a history between the clubs building up to the climax, this is how you handle this?
I understand the purpose of the experts, but as I am tired of stating publicly, if clubs are gangs, with so many thousands of them and so easily identifiable, why do they continue to exist and rarely seem to get arrested based on arrest versus percentage of members. If you believe that clubs are willing to risk a public persona by manipulating their image, then without a doubt, you have to agree that they are by far, the best, most conniving criminals in history in their ability to evade the law in mass numbers for decades. Here is a blog based on government statistics to prove my point.
If I were a criminal, I think the best course of action is to lay low, O.G. mafia style. Comparable to what Al Pacino’s character said in Devil’s Advocate, “I”m the hand up the Mona Lisa’s skirt.”
Enjoy the circus.