New Mexico claimed by biker gangs, hit by violence

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A deadly biker gang shootout in Texas is catching the attention of law enforcement nationwide, including in New Mexico. The state has seen its share of biker gang trouble here too.

The bloodbath in Waco, Texas, at a Twin Peaks restaurant left nine dead and 18 injured. Rival biker gangs met at the Twin Peaks location to discuss turf and recruitment. Police blamed management for ignoring law enforcement advice and for giving the bikers a welcome mat. As authorities feared, tensions flared and the weapons came out.

“I wasn’t surprised at all,” said a former New Mexico law enforcement undercover gang detective who spoke to KRQE News 13. The source infiltrated the outlaw motorcycle world.

“It doesn’t matter where it’s at. They may have two clubs going at it. But they don’t care who’s around. We had the Applebee’s shooting a couple months ago. It didn’t bother them that there were families that were eating,” he said.

In that incident, two rival biker gangs got into an argument in March at the Applebee’s on San Mateo and Academy. Police said their dispute spilled over into the parking lot, where one man was shot in the leg.

Two years ago, a biker was killed and another injured at a motorcycle shop on Fourth near Menaul. They meant battle because police found 70 spent shell casings.

“Motorcycle clubs here in New Mexico: We do have the Bandidos, of course, they’ve been around since the ’60s and recently in the past few years, they’ve had the Vagos move in. They’ve kinda died out a little. I think maybe there’s less than five members of the Vagos even in the state, even if there are that many, and that’s it right now,” the law enforcement source said.

In a Special Assignment report in 2013, News 13 shed light on the biker underworld and fears about danger brewing even for innocent civilians.

“I’ve seen it at bars, like I’ve said, I’ve seen it at stop lights. It could happen anywhere,” a former Bandido said.

The trouble in Texas was over which outlaw club claimed the state on a patch. New Mexico is Bandidos country, and our expert says they don’t expect rival biker gang members to ride in peace anytime soon.

“It’s not going away,” he said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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