Bulletin warned of potential ‘war’ between rival biker gangs


For months, there had been skirmishes and talk of a war between the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle gangs over money, turf and respect, according to a law enforcement bulletin obtained by News 8.

That talk escalated into open warfare in Waco Sunday afternoon during a biker gathering at a restaurant. Nine suspected gang members were killed and 18 others were injured in a confrontation between the two motorcycle gangs at the Twin Peaks restaurant on the south side of Waco.

Violence between members of the Bandidos OMG and the Cossacks MC has increased in Texas with no indication of diminishing,” according to the bulletin. “The conflict may stem from Cossacks members refusing to pay Bandidos dues for operating in Texas and for claiming Texas as their territory by wearing the Texas bottom rocker on their vests, or ‘colors’ or ‘cuts.'”

In the wake of the shooting, a statewide bulletin was issued to law enforcement stating that the gangs had “issued an order to kill anyone in uniform.” On Monday afternoon — after interviews with more than 200 people connected to the shootout — an updated bulletin was issued to law enforcement around Texas indicating that officers are not being specifically targeted for retaliation.

“Information has been received that law enforcement presence will not stop motorcycle gang from completing their mission,” the bulletin stated.

That mission is likely to be retaliation against each other in the wake of Sunday’s violence.

The May 1 bulletin, “Tension between Bandidos OMG and Cossacks MC remains high in Texas,” was issued by the Texas Joint Information Center run by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

News 8 has obtained a bulletin sent out by police warning of possible motorcycle gang violence.

“The fact that they were wearing a Texas bottom rocker is a direct affront to the Bandidos,” said Steve Cook, executive director of the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association. “This is just not something you do. Texas is a Bandido-controlled state, and for the Cossacks to do that … they had to know there was going to be retribution for it.”

According to the bulletin, law officers had been actively trying to reduce tensions between the two groups and had met with them about it. They had been cautioned about the “unwanted attention a potential war would bring to both groups,” the bulletin said.

Waco police have said that they had an increased law enforcement presence outside the restaurant because they feared violence would erupt. Police also said that they had warned the local Twin Peaks restaurant for two months about hosting the biker event.

For the Cossacks to show up at that location where a [confederation of clubs] meeting is going on — directly defying the Bandidos — what do you expect the Bandidos to do?” Cook asked. “They’re going to lose face in front of all these mom-and-pop clubs that they are trying to intimidate.”

Cook said neither gang would have been deterred by the increased police presence.

“If they want to get at each other, they’re going to get at each other,” he said. “The location, who’s present or not, really is not of a concern to them. They’re going to do it.”

The memo outlined the reasons believed to be driving the escalating tensions.

A Bandidos chapter president had approached a Cossacks leader and told him of the “dues and fees required from all Cossacks chapters in Texas,” the bulletin said. “Initially, the Cossacks chapters paid their dues, but felt disrespected once members became aware that some Bandidos support clubs did not pay the same fees. As a result, the Cossacks chapters stopped paying the Bandidos.”

The bulletin did not indicate when this happened.


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