Posted on May 20, 2015

Motorcycle Gangs Still Riding High

Dan Frosch and Nathan Koppel, Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2015

The biker brawl in Waco, Texas, that left nine dead and 18 others injured on Sunday served as a reminder that motorcycle gangs remain a force in the U.S., an outlaw subculture steeped in its own mythology.

The Justice Department estimates there are still more than 300 outlaw motorcycle gangs in the U.S. One of the gangs involved in the Texas melee, the Bandidos, is among the country’s largest, along with the Hells Angels. Each has more than 90 chapters and 800 members in the U.S. according to authorities.

“These guys have never gone away. I’m shocked that people are shocked that this happened,” said Carlos Canino, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles, who was part of an undercover team that investigated the Hells Angels in the early 2000s.

“They pride themselves on living outside of society’s norms. They pride themselves on adhering to their own rules. And the currency of that subculture is violence,” Mr. Canino said.

Outlaw gangs are particularly active in the mid-Atlantic, southwest and northwest U.S., where they are still considered a “significant threat” by law enforcement, according to a 2013 gang report by the federal National Gang Intelligence Center.

But despite Sunday’s clash at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, which escalated from brass knuckles and knives into a deadly gunfight, only a small percentage of motorcycle clubs are considered outlaw gangs that engage in criminal conduct, said law enforcement experts.

Club members stressed that point after Sunday’s bloodbath, which they worry will exacerbate already tense relations with law enforcement. Some bikers said they had long been unfairly harassed by police, and they emphasized that the hard-living lifestyle immortalized in movies such as “Easy Rider” primarily was about a love of the open road, not crime and violence.


Outlaw motorcycle clubs and gangs emerged in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s, often formed by military veterans who struggled to readjust to society. The groups began referring to themselves as one-percenters, a reference in their case not to wealth, but to an apocryphal story where an American Motorcyclist Association president said that 99 % of bikers are law abiding citizens.

Some, though, grew into organized criminal enterprises, engaging in drug and weapon sales, extortion, and occasional violent conduct, according to law enforcement experts, who say the overall U.S. membership in such groups is impossible to quantify.


Editor’s Note: This is a list of 133 names of people charged in the Waco motorcycle gang shoot out. Names with hyperlinks lead to mugshots. Twenty-one of the names are Hispanic, and there appear to be at least one or two blacks. There is a collage of mugshots after the list of names.

William Chance Aiken
Ray Arnold Allen 
John Arnold
Ronald Atterbury
Colter Bajovich
Jeff Battey
Michael Don Baxley
Timothy Todd Bayless
Richard Benavides
Burton George Bergman
Ronnie Bishop
Mitchell Bradford
Brian Joseph Brincks
Robert Clinton Bucy
Salvador Berber Campos *
Richard Cantu, Jr.
Kenneth Robert Carlisle
Aaron Baker Carpenter
Jason L. Cavazos *
Rene Cavazos *
David Cepeda *
Nathan Champeau
Michael Chaney
Matthew Alan Clendennen
Lindell Floyd Copeland
Roy James Covey
John Franklin Craft
Bohar Lee Crump, Jr.
James Albert David, Jr.
Dalton Davis
James Michael Devoll
Jason Alan Dillard
Brian Clark Eickenhorst
Morgan Jane English
James Brent Ensey
Nate Christian Anders Farish
Matthew Ryan Folse
Juan Garcia *
Lance Alan Geneva
Mario Alberto Gonzalez, Jr. *
James Laray Gray
Nathan Clark Grindstaff
Valdemar Guajardo Jr. *
Bryan Tackitt Harper
Jim Harris
Arley Lester Harris III
Raymond Hawes
Jarron Ray Hernandez *
Michael Scott Herring
Tommy Keith Jennings
Daniel Carol Johnson
Edgar E. Kelleher
Laurence Wayne Kemp
Michael Ray Kenes
Jeremy King
Richard Martin Kreder
Cody Keith Ledbetter
Jarrod Lehman
Brian Dwight Logan
Narciso Luna, Jr.
Jonathan Michael Lopez *
Richard Olen Luther
Michael Lynch
Sandra Erler Lynch
Noble C. Mallard
Josh Logan Martin
Terry Scott Martin
David Martinez *
Eleazar Martinez *
John Anthony Martinez *
Joseph P. Matthews
Wesley A. McAlister
Dustin James McCann
Billy Jason McRee
Tom Modesto Mendez *
Rudy T. Mercado *
Marshall Mitchell
Michael Doyle Moore
Jason Jesse Moreno *
John David Moya *
Doss Barron Murphy
Robert Leon Nichols
Diego Nerio Obledo *
Dusty Alan Oehlert
Melvin Michael Pattenaude
Julie Elaine Perkins
Marcus Ryan Pilkington
Larry E. Pina  *
Jerry Lee Pollard
Jimmy Lee Pond
Kevin Gene Rash 
David Stephen Rasor
Clayton Dewayne Reed
Jacob C. Reese
Owen Lee Reeves
Rolando Reyes *
Sergio Reyes *
Kristoffer Lance Rhyne
Robert Liewellyn Robertson   100
Boyce Ray Rockett
Craig E. Rodahl
George Earl Rogers
Jorge Daniel Salinas
Bobby Joe Samford
Timothy Shayne Satterwhite
Trey Alston Short
Jimmy Dan Smith
Seth A. Smith
Kyle Smith
Jimmy Dayton Spencer
Christopher M. Stainton
Blake Scott Taylor
Michael Glenn Thomas
Christian Valencia   *
Jose Andrew Valle
Royce R. Vanvleck
John Phillip Vensel
Justin Nash Waddington
Glenn Allen Walker
Steven Walker
Ronald Warren
Reginald Weathers
Ester Sandy Weaver
Walter Thomas Weaver
Mark Allen White
John Samuel Wiley
Jacob Ryan Wilson 
John Robert Wilson
Ricky Wayne Wycough
Lawrence Raymond Yager
Gage Andrew Yarborough