2 high-ranking Bandidos found guilty of orchestrating 2006 murder of Austin man

Two high-ranking members of the Bandidos motorcycle club are facing life in federal prison after a jury convicted them Thursday of orchestrating the killing of Anthony Benesh of Austin in 2006, among other charges. 

Bandidos National President Jeffrey Fay Pike, 62, and Vice President Xavier Portillo, 58, learned their conviction in a federal court after a nearly three-month-long trial.

The pair was found guilty on multiple charges involving leading a criminal organization to commit murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault, intimidation, extortion and drug trafficking, federal officials said.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Bandidos indicted in 2006 Austin killing

According to testimony during the trial, Pike and Portillo were involved in the 2006 murder of Benesh, who was a member of a rival motorcycle club. 

Benesh, 44, was with his two children outside a Northwest Austin pizza restaurant in March 2006 when a single shot, believed to have been fired from an elevated portion of U.S. 183, struck and killed him in a sniper-style attack, authorities have said.

Benesh had been attempting to start a Texas Chapter of the Hell’s Angels Outlaw Motorcycle Organization, and it is believed he was killed because he ignored Bandido warnings to cease activities in their territory, officials said.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Detective bent on uncovering Anthony Benesh’s slayer

Jurors also found that Portillo and others had been involved in the 2002 murder of Robert Lara in Atascosa County, who is believed to have been killed as payback for the killing of a Bandidos member, officials said.

Pike and Portillo were tied to numerous other violent acts across Texas, including in Fort Worth, Port Aransas and Crystal City, testimony revealed. They had also been involved in trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine across the U.S.-Mexico border, officials said. 

Pike is in the custody of U.S. Marshals and will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Oct. 1.

Portillo remains in federal custody and will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Sept. 24. 

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